Abbott vows to hire horseback border agents if Biden fires them, says president 'in dereliction of duty'
Abbott defended actions by Texas to secure border as Biden admin says governor exceeded authority
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Sunday promised to hire the border agents on horseback accused of whipping Haitian migrants if they're fired by President Biden – as he slammed the president and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to secure the sovereignty of the United States.
"Secretary Mayorkas and, if I can be candid, even President Biden, they are in dereliction of duty," Abbott said on "Fox News Sunday."
"The Biden administration has abandoned any pretense of securing the sovereignty of either Texas or the United States by having these open border policies," the governor said. "The people in south Texas, they are angry about the Biden administration for ignoring, for abandoning them. The Biden administration cares far more for the people who are not in this country than he does for the people, American citizens who live in this country."
MAYORKAS SAYS AS MANY AS 12K OUT OF 17K HAITIAN MIGRANTS HAVE BEEN RELEASED INTO U.S., AND ‘IT COULD BE HIGHER’
Abbott and his state have been on the front lines of the migrant crisis on the southern border, which returned to the headlines in recent days thousands of Haitian migrants crossed into Texas in recent weeks.
One of the more controversial stories from the border last week was based on images that showed agents on horseback blocking Haitian migrants from entering the U.S. Initial claims that agents were using "whips" were debunked by officials and agents, who noted the agents were using long reins to control the horse, and were twirling their reins to move the horse forward.
Even the photographer of the initial images said he did not see any whipping take place.
Nevertheless, Biden vowed that the agents, who were removed from field duty pending an investigation, will "pay." Abbott was incensed by the president's treatment of the agents.
"What the president said going after the border patrol who were risking their lives, working so hard to try to secure the border. If he takes any action against them whatsoever -- I have worked side by side with those border patrol agents -- I want them to know something," Abbott said. "If they are at risk of losing their job at a president who is abandoning his duty to secure the border, you have a job in the state of Texas."
BORDER PATROL STUNNED AS BIDEN GOES TO WAR WITH OWN AGENTS OVER FALSE ‘WHIPPING' ALLEGATIONS
The governor added: "I will hire you to help Texas secure the border."
Abbott has also been in the news in recent weeks because Texas passed a bill that bans abortions after six weeks. Pro-abortion groups took the state to court over the law and attempted to get the courts to halt enforcement of the law while litigation is pending. The Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect, a move that prompted Democrats in the House of Representatives to pass a bill to codify abortion rights on a federal level this week.
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Abbott also signed a new election law in Texas this month that Democrats argue is meant to suppress votes. Republicans, meanwhile, say it will make the state's elections more secure. That law is already the subject of several lawsuits.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.