The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has announced that the state will build a wall along its southern border with Mexico, drawing criticism from human rights and immigration advocacy groups.
Citing the Biden administration’s rollback of Trump-era immigration policies, Abbott announced the border wall plans amid other security measures, including plans for Texas to build its own detention centers and $ 1 billion. of the state budget allocated to border security. Abbott also stated that more undocumented immigrants will be arrested and sent to local jails instead of being turned over to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as Ice.
“I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall,” Abbott said at a border security summit in Del Rio on Thursday.
“To be clear, this is an attempt to distract from its governance failures while targeting vulnerable migrants,” tweeted the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
“There is no substantive plan,” said Edna Yang, co-executive director of the immigration advocacy and legal aid group American Gateways, in a statement obtained by the New York Times. “It’s not going to make any border community or county safer.”
“Governor Abbott is planning to steal land from Texans for a political stunt”, tweeted The Democratic Representative of Texas, Joaquín Castro.
It is unclear whether Texas has the authority to build a border wall following Biden’s cancellation of such construction projects. The Biden administration had already threatened to sue Texas earlier this week after Abbott ordered state licenses revoked for any federally contracted facility that houses migrant children.
Previous attempts to build a wall on the border, an ongoing campaign promise from former President Donald Trump, have been unsuccessful. Of the 1,000 miles of border wall that Trump promised to build with money from Mexico, only about 80 new miles of fencing that had not existed before has been built. Trump also reinforced more than 400 miles of barriers that already existed, using US taxpayer dollars to do so.
Joe Biden, who promised to stop construction of the border wall, signed an order on his first day in office that stopped building projects on the border, implementing a 60-day review on the border wall project and calling for funds to be redirected. unused border wall. . The US Department of Defense has since canceled portions of the wall that were being built with military funds, reappropriating unspent funds for previously deferred military construction projects.
Now, amid a record surge in migrant children and families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the Biden administration has struggled to handle the surge in migration. Currently, authorities have continued to swiftly expel migrants arriving at the border, following pandemic practices started by Trump, and while allowing others to enter the U.S. While awaiting legal process, in federal facilities, since Biden reviewed and ended Trump’s asylum policy on staying in Mexico.
Republicans, including Abbott, have long criticized Biden’s Trump-era border policy rollbacks, claiming the softer revisions are inspiring more attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. But there has been little evidence that tougher border policies are effective. Notably, Trump’s border wall is scalable with common $ 5 hardware store ladders.
Immigration advocates in Texas have also criticized Abbott’s claims of a violent border crisis and past political efforts to police the southern border, arguing that claims of rampant chaos are inaccurate and that past actions have done little. to address immigration concerns. In March, following claims of drug smuggling and human trafficking at the border, Abbott launched Operation lone star, deploying hundreds of agents and government resources to posts along the US-Mexico border.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism