Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is asking the state’s attorney general to open an investigation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that are helping illegal immigrants who are crossing the border from Mexico.
“With the end of Title 42 just days away, the number of illegal immigrants crossing the Texas–Mexico border has reached an all-time high,” Abbott, a Republican, told Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a letter made public on Dec. 15. “Indeed, this past Sunday, over a 24-hour span, over 2,600 illegal immigrants crossed the border near El Paso and illegally entered Texas. These numbers are likely to increase in the coming weeks.”
Abbott’s reference to Title 42 is to a public health emergency order issued by President Donald Trump to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the southern border that authorized federal agents to return immigrants crossing the border to Mexico to await processing of their cases, including claims of seeking asylum in the United States. A federal court ruled earlier this year that the order will be halted on Dec. 21.
“But as the facts on the ground continue to change, we must remain vigilant in our response to this crisis. There have been recent reports that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may have assisted with illegal border crossings near El Paso,” Abbott told Paxton.
“We further understand NGOs may be engaged in unlawfully orchestrating other border crossings through activities on both sides of the border, including in sectors other than El Paso. In light of these reports, I am calling on the Texas Attorney General’s Office to initiate an investigation into the role of NGOs in planning and facilitating the illegal transportation of illegal immigrants across our borders.”
Abbott’s letter to Paxton comes a day after the Heritage Foundation Oversight Project made public the results of a massive analysis of more than 30,000 anonymized cell devices used by illegal immigrants after entering the United States and receiving resettlement care and services via NGO facilities.
The Heritage project tracked the devices to nearly every congressional district in the country, according to Mike Howell, director of the conservative foundation’s Oversight Project.