AUSTIN – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has extended the border disaster declaration for 43 counties in Texas.
Counties included in the disaster declaration are Bee, Brewster, Brooks, Colorado, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, DeWitt, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hudspeth, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Kimble, Kinney, La Salle, Lavaca, Live Oak, Mason, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Schleicher, Sutton, Terrell, Throckmorton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Wharton, Zapata, and Zavala.
The governor’s office said it originally issued a disaster declaration in late May for 34 counties along the border and then amended the declaration in late June to only include the 28 counties that locally declared a disaster and agreed to partner with the state on its border security efforts — including arresting and detaining people for alleged crimes related to the border crisis. The renewed disaster declaration now includes 43 Texas counties in South Texas and along the border that have joined in on this state partnership and declared their own local disaster, according to the governor’s office’s news release on the matter.
Abbott, who is seeking reelection next year, has had his eyes on the border throughout 2021. In June, the Texas Tribune notes, he announce the state would build a border wall funded by Texans to decrease the number of migrants entering through its border and he launched Operation Lone Star that directed state military and police resources to the border to aid local and federal authorities fighting the smuggling of people and drugs across the border.
Abbott’s office characterized the extension of the declaration this way: “(the) declaration provides more resources and strategies to combat the ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants and authorizes the use of all necessary and available state and local resources to protect landowners in these counties from trespassers and the damage caused to private property.”