Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) announced on Thursday that the state of Texas will take action on its own to address the worsening border crisis, including by building its own border wall and taking extra steps to arrest illegal aliens who are released by federal border authorities, according to CNN.
Abbott made his announcement at a Border Security Summit with other Texas officials present, saying that he would dedicate $1 billion to border security and create his own task force to address the issue.
Abbott said that the efforts would build off of his disaster declaration that was issued last week, which directed Texas’s Department of Public Safety to more strictly enforce laws against criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, while also allowing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to crack down on “any child care facility that shelters or detains unlawful immigrants.”
At the summit, Governor Abbott met with local leaders and law enforcement officials to determine the logistics of cooperation between the state government and local governments. The summit was bipartisan, and included participation from Democratic officials such as the Mayor of Laredo, Pete Saenz (D-Texas). Saenz said that Abbott requested a submission of all border security budgets from local jurisdictions to the governor’s office, so that the state could determine how much money to allocate to each respective area based on their fiscal needs.
Abbott said that further details on his plans for a border wall would be announced next week, and that next week would also see the beginning of the mass arrests. His intended actions are a direct response to the open-borders policy of the Biden Administration, which has halted construction of President Donald Trump’s federal border wall, ended catch-and-release, ended the widely successful “Remain in Mexico” policy, and has offered free, taxpayer-funded benefits to illegals who come to America.