Texas governor says Texas will build its own border wall, leaves the details to later
Greg Abbott Montinique Monroe / Getty Images
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) said Thursday that Texas will build its own border wall with Mexico. He didn't say where, when or how he wanted to pay for the wall. In addition, it is "unclear whether the state has the authority to build a wall to deter immigrants," notes the New York Times. The two-year budget passed by the Texas legislature provides more than $ 1 billion for border security, although Abbott didn't say whether he envisions using that money to pay for his wall. He said he would provide more details next week.
Abbott made his announcement in the border town of Del Rio along with state law enforcement agencies. He also said Texas would detain anyone "who enters our state illegally and is found trespassing, vandalism, criminal mischief, or smuggling," additional cells in local prisons, and with Governor Doug Ducey (R) of Arizona, two states . These changes will deter border crossings in Texas, Abbott predicted, because "it's not the red carpet that the federal administration has rolled out for them."
Abbott has clashed for months with the Biden administration, which suspended or canceled the construction of former President Donald Trump's border wall and allowed unaccompanied minors to seek asylum while most of the other would-be migrants were sent back to Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday that 180,034 people attempted to enter the U.S. from Mexico in May - and 112,302 were expelled.
Abbott also faces a new key GOP challenge for its 2022 re-election bid from former Senator Doug Huffines, whose campaign has promised to end Trump's border wall in Texas - a point Huffines noted Thursday. "I want to thank 'all talk, no action' Greg Abbott for joining my campaign by admitting that as governor he had the power to close the Texas border for the past seven years and refused to do so has, "he tweeted.
The Texas ACLU disagreed. Abbott's plan undermines the "federal right to seek asylum by imprisoning those fleeing danger and punishing them for seeking refuge in the US," said Kate Huddleston, attorney for the ACLU. "In this plan, Abbott is again scapegoating immigrants to divert attention from its own failure to address and manage actual crises in Texas - such as the historic winter storm that killed more than 150 Texans - with dire consequences."
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