Volume 7 Issue 26a_Sun Bay Paper

The state of Texas will begin transporting cooperating illegal immigrants to the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday. Anticipating 18,000 illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border every day after Title 42 ends May 24, Abbott said the transportation of those entering the U.S. illegally to the national capital is one of several new measures the state is taking to thwart illegal immigration into Texas. Title 42, instituted by former President Donald Trump, allowed for the expulsion of illegal immigrants at the border to help prevent the spread of COVID. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it would end the policy, citing the decline in the severity of COVID. Abbott met Wednesday with law enforcement officials in Del Rio and Weslaco, Texas, where he announced a series of new strategies being added to Operation Lone Star, Texas’ border security effort launched in March 2021 in response to President Joe Biden's open border policies. The Texas measures, designed to curtail Mexican cartel-driven human and drug smuggling, include using taxpayer money to transport illegal immigrants from Texas to Washington, D.C., he said. “We are sending them to the U.S. Capitol where the Biden administration will more immediately be able to address the needs of the people that they are allowing to cross our border,” he said. The Texas Department of Emergency Management will oversee the operation, which begins Thursday. TDEM Chief Nim Kidd said at least 900 charter buses are available. The state will transport people who’ve been processed and released from federal custody via charter buses or commercial flights, the governor’s office clarified in a news release. Transportation is voluntary. “A migrant must volunteer to be transported and show documentation from DHS,” the governor’s office said. “Mayors and county judges can notify TDEM of any DHS-facilitated drop-off of migrants in their communities so that the agency can provide appropriate transportation.” The Texas National Guard is also building barricades to use non-lethal means to block illegal entry into Texas. Working with DPS, the guard is deploying boat blockades on the Rio Grande River at certain key points on the Texas side of the river, deploying razor wire in low water crossings in high traffic areas, and creating container blockades to drive people away from low water crossings. The National Guard will begin its first phase of mass migration rehearsals Thursday in anticipation of a massive influx of people. This includes maritime and civil disturbance capabilities. All state troopers and National Guard members will be equipped with riot gear anticipating violence created by migrant caravans. “If you’re a caravan organizer and you think you’re going to overrun a port of entry, we’ll be there waiting for you,” Texas Military Department Adjutant General Major General Thomas Suelzer said. Texans living along the southern border should expect to see increased military activity, he said. The Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday began conducting enhanced vehicle inspections at 20 international crossing locations in Texas. The operation began at 4 p.m., Texas DPS Chief Steve McCraw said. “Commercial vehicles, and the trucking industry are vital to our way of life,” McCraw said. The majority of owners comply with transportation regulations, he said, but the cartels “could care less.” They don’t care about how many people they kill and continue to violate motor vehicle laws, he said. DPS officers will be targeting commercial vehicles that appear to be unsafe because they may be used by cartels to smuggle people. Roughly 4.8 million commercial vehicles already enter Texas, McCraw said. After Title 42 is eliminated, he expects this number to increase significantly. Texas DPS inspections are expected to slow traffic at ports of entry. The Biden administration has said it anticipates 500,000 people entering the U.S. illegally per month from over 150 countries beginning May 24. Rather than following immigration law and denying entry or facilitating deportations, the federal government, working with nongovernmental organizations, is facilitating the transfer of illegal immigrants throughout the U.S. Unless the policy changes or is halted, by the end of this year, more people will have entered the U.S. illegally than those living in Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city, Abbott said. The number is “unprecedented and dangerous,” he said, after roughly 2 million were already apprehended or encountered last year. These numbers exclude those who evade capture by law enforcement. In one year, Texas DPS and local law enforcement have apprehended more than 200,000 illegal immigrants, arrested more than 11,000 people including cartel members, drug smugglers and cop killers, Abbott said. “They’ve also seized more fentanyl that was enough to kill every man, woman and child in Texas,” he said. Texas has already begun to build its own border wall on state land and the Texas legislature last year allocated $3 billion to border security efforts. Some say Abbott is not doing enough and have called on him to declare increased illegal immigration by transnational criminal organizations an invasion. Bethany Blankley The Center Square The Sun Bay Paper Page 5 April 8, 2022 - April 14, 2022 National News Texas To Bus Illegal Immigrants To Steps of U.S. Capitol Building Gov. Greg Abbott, speaks in front of Director and Colonel of the Texas Dept of Public Safety Steven McCraw Government Policies Effect Gas Prices Lawmakers grilled a panel of leading oil company executives during a Congressional hearing Wednesday over high gas prices. The executives responded that restrictive government policies play a significant role. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas is $4.16, a major increase from the same time last year, when the average was $2.87. Democrats have called on oil companies to lower gas prices. “The American people are understandably fed up with these prices, and we are here today to demand answers from Big Oil about when they will finally start providing the American people some relief,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said during the hearing. “As oil prices rise and Americans are hurting, the six oil companies testifying today made more than $75 billion in profits between them last year. It’s also likely these companies will make even more money this year.” The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce held the joint hearing. The oil executives said they are working to keep prices down by expanding supply, which costs money via investment, new technology, and taking financial risks. They also pointed to the role of government policies, limiting pipeline development and drilling permits has. “No single company sets the price of oil or gasoline,” Woods of ExxonMobil said. “The market establishes the price based on available supply, and the demand for that supply. … Government plays a critical role in this. Policies that reflect the importance of energy, create certainty and improve predictability, encourage industry investment, and ensure affordable and reliable supplies of energy. Consistent, efficient, and effective permitting processes, whether for leases, drilling, or infrastructure such as pipelines, or export applications, will help spur further investment in U.S. oil and gas production.” High gas prices have become a hot-button political issue as Americans struggle to keep up with rising prices at grocery stores and the gas pump. Federal inflation data show the fastest rising prices in nearly four decades. To help combat these economic woes, Biden announced last week he would release 180 million barrels of oil per day for the next six months. Biden touted the relief measure, but critics called it too little too late. “But this is under 10 days’ worth of daily US oil use,” said Joel Griffith, a policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. “Meanwhile, this administration's 'war on energy' continues – by including shuttering pipelines, closing off swathes of the nation to drilling, and even threatening oil executives with prison for providing the gasoline American business and families depend on.” Biden has deflected the blame for high prices, pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At Wednesday’s hearing, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, rebuffed that point. "The Biden administration has waged a war on supply, and prices have skyrocketed,” Cruz said. “This is not an accident. This is not Putin. This is Joe Biden, and the Democrats, and the Green New Deal. And they are desperately looking for a political excuse to blame somebody else for the consequences of what they promised they would do to the American people." Casey Harper The Center Square