Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced plans to build a wall along the Texas-Mexico border at a press conference in Del Rio on Thursday. These plans run counter to a proclamation President Joe Biden issued on the first day of his term that all border wall construction must be stopped.
“President Biden’s open border policies have led to a humanitarian crisis on our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs and smuggling pour into Texas,” the Republican governor said. “While securing the border is the responsibility of the federal government, Texas will not stand idly by as this crisis worsens.”
Abbott has yet to release details of its plans, such as where and when construction will begin, or how it will be funded. He released some details on a few other border initiatives, including the roughly $ 1.1 billion allocated in the recently passed state budget for border security. He spoke about plans to introduce a governor’s task force on border and homeland security.
“This will help all of us to work on ways to stem the flow of illegal immigration and stem the flow of illegal contraband,” Abbott said of the task force, which will meet every two weeks and include representatives of several state agencies.
Abbott did not address the growing legal conflict between himself and the Biden administration more directly. After Abbott recently ordered state licensing withdrawn from state day care centers that housed migrant children, the Biden administration threatened to sue.
US Department of Health and Human Services attorney Paul Rodriguez called Abbott’s decision a “direct attack” on the resettlement effort for federal migrant children and gave the state up to Friday to respond to a letter demanding clarification of the ordinance that appears to violate federal law. Fifty-two state-approved shelters housing around 8,600 children could be affected.
On the first day of his tenure, President Biden ordered construction of the border wall to be suspended, as well as taxpayer funding for its construction. He also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to suspend and investigate the “stay in Mexico” order, which has since been officially rescinded.
The Biden administration has said its new policies are an attempt at more humane treatment of migrants.
In a disaster statement he released on June 1, Abbott said “President Biden’s open border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers and deadly drugs. like fentanyl to flow into our communities. “
“Meanwhile, landowners along the border see their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden administration does nothing to protect them.”
Gov. Abbott did not directly address the potential legal issues with his wall during his public appearance on Thursday, nor did he say whether he expected funding for the Texas border wall to come from the allocation of $ 1.1 billion border security in his state. budget.
News week has contacted Governor Abbott for comment.