Texas State Budget To Kick In $250 Million For Border Wall Funding

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that the state budget will provide $250 million in funding to help build his announced border wall on the U.S. southern border between Mexico and Texas.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Abbott announced that the state of Texas will pick up where the federal government left off.

He also said that $250 million was more than enough to hire a project manager and a contractor to begin building a wall in the Lone Star State. “Texas will build a border wall in our state to help secure our border.”

Abbott did not say how long the wall might eventually be, where the wall might be built, or the total cost of the entire project. He added that would be determined by any project manager that he has directed the Texas Facilities Commission to hire. 

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Finishing The Work Of Trump

When Donald Trump took office, he declared the crisis on the border a national emergency.

Gov. Abbott is not waiting for the federal government to come and assist with the border crisis, but is finishing the work of former President Donald Trump, who made it a cornerstone of his campaign in 2016 to build a wall on the southern border.

Trump will be visiting the border at the end of this month at the invitation of Abbott.

About 450 miles of border wall had been completed by the Trump administration, most of that being in Arizona. 

Abbott said that he expected that there will be private donors willing to help pay for the wall, and expects that some land may also be donated: “My belief based upon conversations that I’ve already had is that the combination of state land as well as volunteer land will yield hundreds of miles to build a border wall in Texas.”

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How Funds Will Be Allocated

According to a report from The Hill, a letter to Bryan Collier, executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, went out asking that $250 million be transferred from a general fund to a disaster fund.

From there, the money will go to the Texas Facilities Commission for wall construction. 

The letter explained the urgency of a wall, due to the federal government’s failure to address issues related to non-enforcement of laws including, increased illegal crossings, damage to Texans’ crops and property, larger rates of human trafficking and smuggling, additional drugs and “a dangerous escalation in cartel violence.”

The letter continued in part,“These threats to our citizens cannot remain unaddressed; if the federal government refuses to face them, the State will.”

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What Texas Democrats Are Saying As Migrants Continue To Cross The Border

State Democrat lawmakers in Texas say they were “surprised” by the Governor’s push to finish the wall with state funds. 

Sen. Cesar Blanco of El Paso said, “Building a wall from El Paso to Brownsville is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security and it’s a huge waste of taxpayer money.” He added if the state wanted to beef up border security, it should invest in modern technology which would be ‘less expensive’ than building a wall.

Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Texas David Donatti said that Texas officials were trying, “to reinstate harmful policies implemented by the Trump administration.”

When Joe Biden became President, not only did he announce that “not another foot of wall” would be constructed on his watch, but he terminated the national emergency declared by Trump.

Meanwhile, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there were 180,034 border crossings in May, compared to fewer than 25,000 in the latter part of 2020.

At the press conference announcing the building of the wall in Texas, Gov. Abbott stated, “The Biden Administration has abandoned its responsibilities to secure the border and Texans are suffering as a result.”

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