Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday that Texas will build its own border wall and also arrest people crossing the border illegally next week. In a Border Security Summit Thursday afternoon in Del Rio, Abbott said he has plans to build a larger border wall and that he’s going to build border barriers that will allow the state to arrest people crossing the border illegally and trespassing on private property.
Abbott also announced several other initiatives, including a task force, allocating $1 billion in funds for border security from the state budget. Abbott said, “Change is needed on the border crisis and (the task force) will help all of us to work on ways to stem the flow of unlawful immigration and to stem the flow of illegal contraband.”
The governor says that he will be announcing plans next week regarding the state beginning the actual construction of building the border wall. It hasn’t been made clear what authority Abbott could use to build the wall since much of the borderland is privately owned and would need to be bought by the government or taken through eminent domain.
Abbott’s Border Security Summit brought together Texas sheriffs, police chiefs, county judges, mayors and landowners to secure border communities and attempt to ensure a safer future for all Texans and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The remarks at the summit come after Abbott issued a disaster declaration along the border June 1 in which he directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to enforce all federal and state criminal laws, including trespassing, smuggling and human trafficking. On Thursday, he said the arrests would begin next week.