Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he will soon announce plans for the construction of a wall along the state’s shared border with Mexico as part of a long list of actions meant to address the ongoing immigration crisis. Governor Abbott said Texas was doing the “job of the federal government,” securing the U.S. border. “I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state of Texas,” Governor Abbott said at a border summit Thursday in Del Rio, Texas. Abbott announced a number of initiatives, including using state troopers to arrest migrants coming over the southern border. Will this help border towns in Texas that are facing property destruction, among other dangers?
Earlier this month, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration to secure additional resources for communities on the border. At the time, Governor Abbott said Biden’s policies “have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities.” Fox News said “open border Biden” was the cause of the surge in fentanyl use and distribution across Texas. This is one of the many reasons Texas is cracking down on border security. “Long term, only Congress and the president can fix our broken border. But in the meantime, Texas is going to do everything possible, including beginning to make arrests, to keep our communities safe,” Governor Abbott said at a border security summit in Del Rio. “We are going to do everything we can to secure the border and it begins immediately.” After the summit, Governor Abbott tweeted the highlights of his plans:
Enhanced Border Security Plan:
- Disaster declaration — individuals entering TX illegally subject to arrest
- Task Force
- Approving over $1B in funding for border security
- Building border barriers
- Interstate compact powers
Governor Abbott is one of several Republicans who believe that President Biden’s immigration policies caused the immigration crisis. “While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows. The state is working collaboratively with communities impacted by the crisis to arrest and detain individuals coming into Texas illegally,” Governor Abbott said. “Our efforts will only be effective if we work together to secure the border, make criminal arrests, protect landowners, rid our communities of dangerous drugs, and provide Texans with the support they need and deserve. This is an unprecedented crisis, and Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen.” White House officials claimed Biden inherited a broken immigration system and moved to reverse measures that were “inhumane.” The administration attempted to fix issues in other countries rather than helping their people in crisis. During the summit, Governor Abbott announced they will be creating the Governor’s Task Force on Border and Homeland Security.
Governor’s Task Force on Border and Homeland Security
Governor Abbott’s task force will work with local and county officials to expand jail capacities in border counties, as well as many other things to help the community. The task force will include members from the Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Military Department. Governor Abbott said the task force will help farmers and ranchers in border towns, who have had properties damaged, to “seek recovery” from the federal government. Abbott said he signed an interstate commerce agreement with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. The two states are asking other states for help from their law enforcement agencies to assist in making arrests and jailing. “We don’t want just to arrest somebody to have them released,” Abbott said. “We want to arrest somebody and have them prosecuted, to be put in jail, to stay in jail — to create an environment where people will choose they don’t want to come across the border into the state of Texas anymore, because it’s not what they were expecting, it’s not the red carpet that the federal administration rolled out for them — they are going to jail in the state of Texas.” People who enter the state illegally will be subject to arrest for trespassing according to Governor Abbott. Abbott blamed the Biden administration’s policies for the surge in migrants coming into Texas.
“The border crisis is no laughing matter,” Abbott said in reference to Kamala Harris laughing off not going to the border earlier. “This is something that also is not a tourism site for members of Congress to make an annual pilgrimage to and see the border, and then go back and do absolutely nothing at the federal government level to solve the crisis.” Customs and Border Protection reported more than 180,000 migrants at the border in May, up from roughly 23,000 in the same month one year ago. Numbers will continue to rise and Republicans will continue to ask President Biden’s administration to take action. Until this happens, states such as Texas and Arizona will attempt to fight the crisis on their own.