He didn’t provide any details and it’s unclear that he has the authority to do so, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced that his state is going to build a border wall with Mexico. He made the announcement at a border security summit in Del Rio, a city on Texas’s southwestern border.
The Republican governor said would release details next week, but indicated that he will start his own pet wall project by setting up barriers to identify people trying to cross the border and by deploying additional law enforcement agents to assist the Border Patrol. “Some of these border barriers will be built immediately,” he said. Then he revealed his plan to build a wall, an announcement that was met with a huge ovation.
“While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” Abbott said, blaming the Biden administration for the increase in migrant crossings. “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.”
The plan is almost certain to face legal challenges and Abbott will encounter many of the same obstacles the Trump administration did trying to construct a wall. Some of the land needed is owned by the federal government, although much of it is private property.
“There is no substantive plan,” said Edna Yang, co-executive director of American Gateways, an immigration legal aid and advocacy group in Texas. “It’s not going to make any border community or county safer.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas tweeted, “To be clear, this is an attempt to distract from his governing failures while targeting vulnerable immigrants.”
BREAKING: @GovAbbott just announced his plan to build a border wall, arrest and jail migrants, and form an interstate compact with Arizona to police the border.
To be clear, this is an attempt to distract from his governing failures while targeting vulnerable migrants.
— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) June 10, 2021