Texas governor wants crowdsourcing to pay for Mexico border wall
The governor of Texas said he would use US $ 250 million in state money and crowdfunding to build more barriers along the US border with Mexico.
But questions remain as to how far Greg Abbott, a Republican, can go for a project whose total cost, duration and timing are unclear and could face legal challenges from the federal government.
More than a dozen Republican members of the Texas House and Senate joined Abbott for a live press conference announcing plans to hire a project manager to continue building a version of a wall announced last week , echoing former President Donald Trump’s unfinished campaign pledge to fortify the southern US border, including 1,200 miles in Texas.
Abbott also said he is asking the federal government to return the land obtained for the wall from the US government and return it to private citizens who can allow Texas to complete the job.
“In response to the federal government’s neglect of all those who live along the border, those facing the consequences of the spread of drugs like fentanyl, Texas is escalating and doing more than any other state no ‘never did to meet these challenges along the border,’ Abbott said.
“Texas taxpayers must step up their efforts so that we, as a state, can protect our citizens.”
State Senator Jane Nelson, chair of the State Senate Finance Committee, told the press conference that the US $ 250 million in state money – which Abbott called down payment – were allocated in accordance with emergency orders.
She did not specify where the public money originally came from, but in a letter later released by Abbott’s office, the governor said it would come from the Criminal Justice Department’s budget. Texas.
The state has also set up a web page and post office box so that anyone can donate to Abbott’s Wall.
Large numbers of migrants have presented themselves at the US border with Mexico, and many have turned over to US border patrol agents to seek legal asylum status. But the number of families and children traveling without their parents crossing the United States has fallen sharply since March and April, while encounters with single adults have remained high.
Abbott, who is eligible for re-election next year and has not ruled out a 2024 presidential run, has taken increased immigration action since President Joe Biden took office, including sending more police officers state and national border guards to arrest people. entering the country illegally or cartels dealing in illegal drugs.
On Wednesday, Abbott said prisons were looking for additional beds to house the growing number of those arrested.
Abbott has also called for help from other states and on Wednesday Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to the call, announcing he would send law enforcement from his state to Texas and Arizona. , where his Republican colleague Doug Ducey also sought help from other states. .
U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Legal experts say the United States Supreme Court has made it clear that the power to enforce immigration law is in the hands of the federal government, including the efforts of Arizona Republicans ten years ago .
President Biden suspended construction of a border wall when he took office, and his administration recently announced a plan to divert funding from what was former President Donald Trump’s flagship project.
Trump’s plan is more formidable than the barriers he replaced, but it’s not uncommon for smugglers to guide people over or through. Portions can be sawn off with power tools sold at home improvement stores.