At a press conference held Thursday in Fort Worth, Gov. Greg Abbott responded to the recent upturn in fentanyl seizures across the Texas-Mexico border. He announced his decision to deploy state troopers and National Guard members, as well as his intent to create a new criminal offense for the drug’s manufacture or distribution.
Over the past few years, seizures of hard narcotics — particularly meth, heroin and fentanyl — have increased dramatically along the border. The CBP reported a “slight increase in narcotic seizures at its southern border ports of entry in fiscal year 2021.” The federal agency suggested that pandemic-related restrictions on travel pushed criminal organizations to shift their operations.
Abbott blamed the influx of drugs on President Joe Biden’s border policies, which have included a pause to the border wall construction and review of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “remain in Mexico” policy.
“It is clear that Biden’s open-border policies are unleashing deadly consequences right here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” Abbott said.
Abbott listed Tarrant County and Mansfield among counties that had seen a drastic increase in fentanyl seizures in the first four months of the year. The governor went on to announce that he has deployed 1,000 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and National Guard members to combat the problem.
At the press conference Thursday, the governor announced a new criminal offense for the manufacture or distribution of fentanyl, starting as a third-degree felony. When questioned about Lt. Gov Dan Patrick’s efforts to induce a special legislative session to pass three “conservative bills,” Abbott reiterated that the power to call a special session lay strictly with the governor.