critics have denounced Abbott"s proposal together "political theater" the won"t happen legal muster. However the two-term Republican governor claims it"s time come secure the border.

through James Barragán and Heidi Pérez-Moreno June 11, 20216 PM central



A segment that border fence in the Rio Grande Valley. Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas will develop its very own border wall, although he hasn't provided details around where it would be built and how the state would certainly pay because that it. Credit: Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune
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Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement Thursday that Texas would build a border wall to stem the circulation of migrants v its southern border has actually sparked denunciations, confusion and threats of legal action.

“States don’t have actually authority over immigration and our borders, that’s a federal authority,” stated Domingo Garcia, national president of the league of unified Latin American Citizens. “It’s not constitutional and also we’re planning to an obstacle it in court once we see the last order.”

At a self-styled border summit in Del Rio, Abbott announced that he would certainly unveil plans following week for the state to begin building a border wall surface but gave no extr details on wherein it would certainly be constructed or exactly how the state would certainly pay for it.


Former chairman Donald trump card ran ~ above the promise of structure a wall surface along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Trump administration completed 458 miles of the border wall, follow to U.S. Customs and also Border protection statistics from this year, consisting of in parts of Texas, but the commonwealth government challenged multiple lawsuits end its construction.

Trump additionally promised that Mexico would certainly pay for the wall. Instead, American taxpayers paid for the $15 exchange rate project, which consisted of repairing existing border walls and brand-new construction. Still, Trump pendant have continued to contact for that is construction.

Democratic state Rep. Mar González that El Paso, who sits top top the Texas House’s spending plan writing appropriations committee, stated the legislative branch did no allocate money in that $250 billion budget for a border wall. She claimed immigration enforcement is not a state job, yet a federal one.

State lawmakers allocated $1 billion because that border defense in the state budget, but González said most of these funds go to the Texas room of publicly Safety.


“The democratic caucus has always been clear that this is a misuse that funds,” González said.

Abbott’s office declined comment and also referred reporters to their border summit news release.

For years, Abbott, a second-term Republican, has made cracking under on immigration and also tightening border security a cornerstone the his governorship. However he’s withstood calls by some on the appropriate wing the his party to usage the state’s authority to construct a border wall surface — until now.

Don Huffines, a former Republican state senator indigenous Dallas that is daunting Abbott in next year’s major elections, mockingly thanked the governor for adopting one idea that Huffines originally championed.


“I would prefer to say thanks to ‘all talk, no action’ Greg Abbott because that joining my campaign by admitting that as branch he’s had the strength for the last seven years come close under the Texas border, and also has refuse to do so,” he stated in a statement.

But migration specialists said it stays unclear what government Abbott has to fulfill his promise.

“Immigration government largely falls under the federal federal government level and also there has actually been law after regulation that has supported the framework,” stated Ariel Ruiz, a plan analyst because that the Washington-based Migration policy Institute. “Even if there to be legal opportunities for Texas to do , it’ll end up in a variety of legal concerns for sure.”

LULAC has already threatened to record a lawsuit and an main with the ACLU that Texas said the group is exploring all choices in solution to the governor’s immigrant enforcement plan.


Aside from questions of legitimate authority, Ruiz stated Abbott should take into consideration whether unilateral action on a border wall surface will accomplish his goals of a much more secure border.

In recent months, Abbott has blamed the Biden management for the increase in border apprehensions this year, and for boost in fentanyl seizures on the border that he’s labeling a “crisis.”

Last month, Abbott stated state authorities had already seized 137 grams of the illegal drug in 2021, contrasted to 52 grams for all of last year and also virtually no fentanyl seizures in between 2017 and 2019.

But Ruiz said building a border wall is no an efficient way to tackle either of those problems.


“It didn’t job-related under Obama, the didn’t work under Trump and also it’s likely not to job-related going forward. The boils under to this: the U.S.-Mexico border requirements solutions from both sides,” that said, including that mexico officials aren’t likely to support a brand-new wall-building plan on the border. “Any policy that simply happens ~ above one side of the border is not going come be successful if the not having actually a similar response on the various other side.”

Advocates because that immigrants and asylum seekers claimed they likewise opposed several of the other immigration enforcements Abbott announced top top Thursday. Among those was an order because that DPS troopers to arrest immigrant who get in the country illegally because that trespassing.

Critics say together a relocate criminalizes asylum seeking and could command to family separations like those viewed under the trump card administration.

“Were that to occur then family members who come across — moms and also dads with young youngsters — are going to it is in separated from their children and also prosecuted,” said Kate Huddleston, a employee attorney at the ACLU the Texas. “The factor parents were separated native their youngsters was since they to be being required to federal court.”


Although that is estimated that over 2,800 households were be separate in 2018 under Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the actual number of families be separate was much higher. Lawyers said about 1,500 children were bring away from their parents in 2017.


There to be 180,034 border crossings critical month, contrasted to fewer than 25,000 border crossings in late 2020, according to data indigenous the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. During the trumped administration, the highest recorded variety of apprehensions was nearly 150,000.

Garcia the LULAC said Abbott’s border wall surface announcement to be misguided “political theater” that was aimed at setting himself up because that a potential presidential run in 2024 quite than fixing difficulties in the state like an increasing public education capital or shoring increase Texas’ strength grid.

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“Trump never developed a wall, Mexico no pay for it and Abbott’s not gonna construct a wall,” that said. “The just thing Texans room gonna pay for is a rubbish of taxpayer dollars on legit bills.”


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