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FEMA Denies Abbott’s Emergency Declaration Over Border Crisis

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration over the border crisis, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • “After examining the request, FEMA determined that federal assistance under the Stafford Act was not warranted or appropriate, especially considering based on the amount of federal and state funding already available to the State,” a FEMA official told the DCNF. 
  • A spokesperson for Abbott’s office criticized the Biden administration for their immigration policies and for not helping to secure the border.  

The FEMA denied Abbott’s request to declare a federal emergency in the state over the ongoing border crisis, according to documents obtained by the DCNF on Monday.

Abbott appealed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision to deny the state emergency protective measures that would allow it access to federal assistance on Oct. 7, according to documents obtained by the DCNF. The agency maintained that Texas would not receive federal assistance in Val Verde County, where thousands of Haitian migrants arrived in Del Rio and overwhelmed border officials in late September.

“After a thorough review of all the information contained in your initial request and appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that supplemental federal assistance under the Stafford Act is not warranted for this event,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a letter to Abbott. “Therefore, I must inform you that your appeal for an emergency declaration is denied.”

The Stafford Act was created for state support after natural disasters and Texas received more than $330 million in federal aid over the last year for assistance with Hurricane Laura and a historic winter storm that left millions without power, a FEMA official told the DCNF on Monday.

“After examining the request, FEMA determined that federal assistance under the Stafford Act was not warranted or appropriate, especially considering based on the amount of federal and state funding already available to the State,” the official said.

FEMA initially denied Abbott’s request for federal aid on Sept. 29, about a week after thousands of migrants set up a temporary encampment under the Del Rio international bridge hoping for a chance to file an asylum claim in southern Texas, Fox News reported. Border officials encountered more than 1.7 million migrants in the fiscal year 2021, with a majority of the apprehensions occurring in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

“The denial of Governor Abbott’s FEMA request is not only a denial of reality, but a firm statement by the federal government that it is abandoning the people and the state of Texas,” Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy told the DCNF. “Biden and Mayorkas do not care about Texans, any other American, or the migrants being harmed by this crisis, and they are committing impeachable offenses by failing to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

“States — border or otherwise — are left with no choice but to step up even more to protect their own borders and their own citizens due to Biden’s purposeful refusal to protect our nation,” Roy added. “The law, the Constitution, and the natural rights of man support aggressive action by Texans to stand firm against the chaos of this crisis.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Texas Republicans Sound Off On Biden’s ‘Pathetic’ Claim That He’s Too Busy To Visit The Border)

Abbott initially requested aid from the Biden administration immediately after the migrants arrived in Del Rio, Texas, and sent hundreds of state law enforcement officials to aid federal agents, according to the governor’s office. The governor blamed the Biden administration’s policies for causing the border crisis and failing to secure the southern border.

“President Biden continues to abandon the people of South Texas,” Abbott’s Press Secretary Renae Eze told the DCNF. “While President Biden refuses to do his job, Texas is doing everything possible to help secure the border.”

“We are deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers, building a border wall, arresting migrants trespassing in Texas, and erecting barriers in anticipation of oncoming caravans,” Eze added.

Texas has an estimated $10 billion in a “Rainy Day Fund” and in the last two years has received over $83.5 million in federal grants for border operations from the Operation Stonegarden Grant program, the FEMA official told the DCNF.

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