Only 145 Miles of Texas Border Has a Wall – Gov. Abbott Vows to Build 1,100 More
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to pick up where former President Donald Trump left off, announcing plans to build over 1,000 miles of new border barrier in the state.
From the Washington Examiner:
Furious about the 21-year high in illegal immigration at the 1,950-mile southern border, Abbott vowed in mid-June to bolster the state’s border in an effort to prevent continued drug and human smuggling.
Texas has more international border than fellow border states Arizona, California, and New Mexico. The Texas-Mexico boundary stretches for 1,241 miles, but just 145 miles of it has any sort of substantive fence or wall, according to federal planning documents from Trump-era wall projects and information provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Abbott wants to put up a wall on the remaining 1,100 miles. At an average cost of $20 million per mile, it is a tall order — even for the massive state of Texas.
The move comes as border wall construction has come to a near standstill since President Joe Biden took office, leaving border states like Texas to get creative amid a wave of illegal immigration in 2021.
With pressure mounting to take action on the border, Abbott will attempt to pick up where Trump left off in building the barrier. But getting started on the construction comes with roadblocks itself, a situation Abbott will now contend with as he seeks a third term as governor:
Part of the delay with building a wall in Texas under Trump was obtaining privately owned and protected federal land in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. The U.S. government is likely to own a significant amount of land on the international border, so Abbott would have to purchase it from Washington, D.C., but given the Biden administration’s opposition to the border wall, it could choose not to sell it to him.
In its quest to control the private land, Texas could use a process known as eminent domain, which occurs when a government compensates a landowner in exchange for private land.
In a statement announcing the plans for the new wall, Abbott slammed the Biden for his inaction on the issue.
“The Biden Administration has abandoned its responsibilities to secure the border and Texans are suffering as a result,” Abbot said. “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. 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.”
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