Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has reportedly launched the construction of his state’s own fence along the southern border in an effort to slow the border crisis and “cut the feds out of the equation.”
“I asked what a chain-link fence is going to stop?” Fox L.A. reporter Bill Melugin tweeted on Tuesday. “Texas [Department of Public Safety] tells me the idea is to cut the feds out of the equation. No trespass signs allow them to arrest on local charges. Instead of calling Border Patrol, they will take migrants to jail for violating Texas law.”
The Twitter thread included pictures with exclusive access to the first 1.5-mile stretch of border barrier in Del Rio.
The report follows a surge in reported migrant encounters in the local area.
“SPIKE IN LARGE GROUPS – [Rio Grande Valley] #USBP Agents encounter the largest group this fiscal year,” Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted on Monday.
“298 migrants in a single group illegally entered through La Grulla, Texas.
“15K+ migrants were apprehended in the RGV in one week.”
Abbott announced in June that the state is making a major financial investment in a border wall to stop the growing immigration crisis.
“The Biden Administration has abandoned its responsibilities to secure the border and Texans are suffering as a result,” Abbott said, according to a news release from his office.
“The problems along the border are only getting worse due to President Biden’s inaction. Property is being destroyed, deadly drugs and illegal weapons are being smuggled into communities throughout the state, law enforcement is having to redirect their resources, and county judges and mayors are facing skyrocketing expenses,” he added.
“Texas is doing more than any state has ever done to protect the border, but it is clear that more is needed. In the Biden Administration’s absence, Texas is stepping up to get the job done by building the border wall. Through this comprehensive public safety effort, we will secure the border, slow the influx of unlawful immigrants, and restore order in our border communities.”
The Lone Star State governor also tweeted the announcement.
According to the news release, “the Governor, Lieutenant Governor [Dan] Patrick, Speaker [Dade] Phelan, and Senator [Jane] Nelson, and Representative [Greg] Bonnen signed a letter during the press conference authorizing the transfer for $250 million as a down payment to launch the construction of the border wall and hire a program manager and contractors.”
In addition to the initial payment, additional future funds were also announced.
“Governor Abbott also noted that the state budget allocates 1.1 billion dollars towards border security — a record for the State of Texas.”
Beyond state funding, Abbott announced the launch of a donation page “where anyone can voluntarily donate to the construction of the border wall.” Donors can personally support the effort at borderwall.texas.gov.