Gov. Greg Abbott has announced that Texas will spend $1 billon building a wall on its border with Mexico using state funds previously allocated to uphold border security. “While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” said Abbott.
According to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, the total number of migrants crossing into the U.S. in 2021 so far this year has surpassed 800,000 and is already double the number from 2020. Under Title 42, border agents are allows to turn away most single adults and some families, an emergency pandemic order that President Trump signed and President Biden has continued to enforce as well. Part of the reason for the significant increase in illegal immigration from Central America has been a rumor among immigrants from Honduras and Guatemala that the U.S. would allow them in, something the Biden Administration has not said.
“It remains unclear if Texas can legally build a barrier wall with Mexico as the land the border sits on belongs to the federal government and the border, its operation and construction and maintenance are solely within the purview of the federal government,” says Claudia Pulski, an immigration attorney in Phoenix.
James Stay of Round Rock said, “this is all just political hot air, politicians say a lot of things to either get their base to rally up or to get re-elected or raise money for their political party or to draw attention away from some other hot issues.” In fact, $1 billion will not actually build very much wall if you compare the cost of how much the federal government spent on building border walls. The Trump Administration spent $15 billion to get 450 miles, however, most of that was to prop up and improve existing border walls and only a small portion was actually a new border wall in places that had no preexisting wall.
“Without a viable wall, our cities and towns in Texas will continue to see immigrants come here and bring crime and drugs with them said Andrew Morgan, a self-described “Liberty and Justice” constitutional supporter from San Antonio. “Most Americans don’t live anywhere close to the Mexican border. They don’t see or feel the pain, fear and economic hardship that Texans live with, these illegal immigrants cross an unregulated and unfiltered border, much of Texas that borders with Mexico is open land with no barriers whatsoever. It’s true most of these illegal migrants are not Mexicans, they are from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and other Central American countries that are full of poverty and corruption. But their journey ultimately take them through Mexico and they cross on land into Texas.”