Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced during a press conference on Wednesday that state officials are making a major down payment on a border wall that is going to be built for the state to help respond to Democrat President Joe Biden’s border crisis.
In a letter, Abbott directed Bryan Collier, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to “transfer $250 million in General Revenue to the Disaster Fund within the Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor” for “a down payment to begin design and construction of physical barriers on voluntarily donated private and public lands that border this state and Mexico.”
At a press conference, Abbott slammed the Biden administration, saying it had “abandoned its responsibilities to secure the border, and Texans are suffering as a result.”
“The problems along the border are only getting worse due to President Biden’s inaction,” Abbott said. “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. Texas is doing more than any state has ever done to protect the border, but it is clear that more is needed. In the Biden administration’s absence, Texas is stepping up to get the job done by building the border wall. Through this comprehensive public safety effort, we will secure the border, slow the influx of unlawful immigrants, and restore order in our border communities.”
Abbott said that he expects that there will be “hundreds of miles” of new wall built in the state. The announcement comes as Biden’s border crisis continued to worsen last month as more illegal aliens were apprehended at the southern border than at any other point in the history of the Department of Homeland Security, which was created in 2002.
Abbott’s announcement came at roughly the same time that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that he is sending state and local law enforcement to Texas and Arizona as reinforcements to deal with Biden’s border crisis.
“The Biden Administration ended policies implemented by President Trump that were curbing illegal immigration, securing our border, and keeping Americans safe,” DeSantis said. “Governors Abbott (of Texas) and Ducey (of Arizona) recently sent out a call for help to every state in the nation, needing additional law enforcement manpower and other resources to aid with border security.”
“I’m proud to announce today that the state of Florida is answering the call,” DeSantis added. “Florida has your back.”
Abbott also sent a letter to Biden demanding that he “immediately return to Texans any land taken by the federal government but not used for building a border wall.”
“Texas stands ready to build the wall in Texas, and we have begun the process of hiring a manager to oversee that project,” Abbott wrote. “We will look first at using state property and donated private property. We will also visit with Texans whose land was taken by the federal government to determine if they will allow the State of Texas to build a wall on their land.”
Abbott also noted that he has repeatedly reached out to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris about “the substantial surge in illegal border crossings that your Administration is allowing, and about the escalating humanitarian crisis it is causing at the Texas border.”
“Your immigration policies are making Texas ‘ground zero’ for a dramatic influx of unlawful immigrants, but all of America will suffer from the flood of dangerous drugs, human traffickers, and convicted criminals that may cause harm in other states after entering through Texas,” he added.