Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday held a press conference in Austin to lay out plans to finish constructing Trump’s border wall to stop the surge of illegal immigrants flowing into the the U.S. through the Lone Star State.
Abbott, joined by several Republican lawmakers, signed a letter authorizing $250 million as a down payment to continue building a border wall between Texas and Mexico after Biden halted President Trump’s wall. The funding would allow for hiring contractors and a program manager.
According to Abbott, the Texas state budget currently allocates $1.1 billion towards border security.
“The Biden Administration has abandoned its responsibilities to secure the border and Texans are suffering as a result,” said Abbott, slamming Biden’s lack of urgency in resolving the border crisis. “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,” the governor added.
In a second letter Abbott addressed to President Biden, he demanded the immediate return of any Texas land in the possession of the federal government. Upon receipt, Abbott said the state of Texas will talk to property owners about the possibility of using that land to build the wall.
Texas’ initiative to continue border wall construction comes on the heels of a surge in illegal immigration which was followed by an uptick in fentanyl seizures, which are up 56 percent, higher than all of Fiscal Year 2020, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“In the Biden Administration’s absence, Texas is stepping up to get the job done by building the border wall,” said Abbott. “Through this comprehensive public safety effort, we will secure the border, slow the influx of unlawful immigrants, and restore order in our border communities.”
In discussing funding for the Texas border wall, the governor said public donations will be welcomed. Anyone who would like to contribute can do so on www.borderwall.texas.gov. The fund will be maintained by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
Amid the current administration’s months-long absence, President Trump is set to meet with Abbott at the southern border on June 30 to shed light on the unresolved crisis.