Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issues disaster declaration citing border crisis

DICKINSON, Texas – Galveston County Judge Mark Henry signed a disaster declaration Tuesday saying it was a direct result of the border crisis in Texas.

During a news conference Tuesday, Henry talked about the ongoing border crisis, its effect on Galveston County and his plan to assist in the state’s efforts.

“As a result of the crisis at the border, we have seen a number of things in Galveston County,” Henry said. “We have seen an increase in violent and organized crime. ... We have seen an increased flow of drugs, ... and finally, we have been told about the stash houses for human trafficking.”

Henry also announced that he signed an executive order which will:

  1. approve American Rescue Plan Act funding to send law enforcement to assist with the border crisis.
  2. dedicate up to 10% ($6.6 million) of Galveston County’s American Rescue Plan Act funds for border wall construction.
  3. create a task force that will help support or relieve DPS in regard to the border crisis.

The Texas-Mexico border has been in the national spotlight recently following Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit and Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent announcements on border security.

On Friday, Harris used her trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to call for an end to political “rhetoric” and “infighting” over immigration.

Immigration “cannot be reduced to a political issue,” Harris told reporters. “We’re talking about children, we’re talking about families, we’re talking about suffering. And our approach has to be thoughtful and effective.”

On the same day, Abbott issued a statewide call for prison officers across the state to assist border sheriffs with increased arrests at the border.

Abbott’s rhetoric has also taken on a tone similar to former president Donald Trump’s with promises to build a wall, descriptions of American homes “invaded” by immigrants and a trail of “carnage” and plans to arrest border crossers and haul them to jail.

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About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.