Texas Governor Greg Abbott has warned President Joe Biden that attempting “to interfere with what Texas is doing” to discourage irregular migration across the state’s southern border would “destroy his campaign” for a second White House term.

Abbott made the claim in a Fox News interview during which he claimed illegal immigration would be the “number one issue” during the 2024 presidential election and said Texas National Guard troops had put down “more than 100 miles of razor wire” in a bid to discourage crossings.

How to tackle illegal immigration has caused a surge in tensions between Texan authorities and the Biden administration over the past few months. Donald Trump, who in March became the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, has made cutting down on migration across the southern border one of the main planks of his bid for a second White House term.

During the Fox News appearance on Friday, Abbott said: “First I have to applaud our National Guard for stepping up and laying down that more than 100 miles of razor wire because it is an effective barrier that denies illegal entry.

“But as you all know the number one issue in the United States in the presidential race is illegal immigration and you know Texas is the only one stepping up doing anything about it. If Biden, who’s so underwater in the polling on illegal immigration, were to interfere with what Texas is doing it would really destroy his campaign.”

Abbott went on to claim the majority of border patrol personnel deployed to Texas “support Texas doing what we’re doing so they’re against the president.”

Returning to the 2024 election, Abbott added: “It would completely dismantle the Biden campaign going after the only person in the United States that’s stopping illegal immigration. It would decimate his campaign and his campaign would be over tomorrow. He might as well just leave office tomorrow.”

The Texas governor shared a 1 minute 43 second clip of his Fox News appearance on X, formerly Twitter, along with a press release about the effectiveness of Operation Lone Star, which he launched in a bid to reduce illegal immigration in 2021.

The press release said: “Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 506,500 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 41,200 criminal arrests, with more than 36,700 felony charges.

“In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, Texas law enforcement has seized over 471 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.”

Newsweek has contacted the White House press office and the federal Customs and Border Protection agency for comment by email.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott pictured at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on March 26, 2024 (left) and President Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House on April 04, 2024…


SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY

In January the Supreme Court ruled federal agents could remove razor wire placed across the border on Abbott’s orders, sparking a furious response from the governor who claimed his state was being subject to an “invasion” and had simply invoked its “constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”

On March 19, Texas Senate Bill 4, a piece of state legislation signed by Abbott, was put on hold by a federal appeals court just hours after being approved by the Supreme Court in a 6-3 verdict.

The legislation would allow Texan law enforcement to detain and deport illegal migrants, causing controversy as this has typically been seen as a federal responsibility.