WASHINGTON—Lora Ries, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center and a DHS veteran, and Mark Morgan, former acting CBP commissioner and Heritage visiting fellow, released the following statement Thursday in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s officially declaring Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations:
“Americans deserve leaders who will stand up for the rule of law, protect our communities, and go on offense against evil. That’s exactly what Gov. Abbott has done with this declaration.
“The drug cartels now have operational control of our southern border. They are overseeing the flood of fentanyl across our borders, to say nothing of the record number of illegal aliens they are smuggling across, at great risk to the Border Patrol agents working the front lines—and the migrants themselves. These are the most brutal, savage organizations in the Western Hemisphere, and they pose an increasingly deadly threat to our society. They have turned every town in America into a border town. No town is safe from the scourge of the chaos and destruction that they bring with them.
“Now is not the time for timid leadership, but bold action. As the Biden administration continues to double down on its catastrophic open-borders agenda, states like Texas and Florida are standing up and making it clear that if Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas continue to defy their oath to uphold the law and protect Americans, then the states will do it themselves. Governors like Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis have done more to secure our borders and shine a spotlight on the Biden border crisis than anyone in his administration. They should be applauded—and more states should follow their lead. That’s the only way we can begin to mitigate the damage that Joe Biden and his open-borders administration have caused.”