FederalImmigration & BorderAbbott Says Texas Will Continue Border Wall Construction, Make a Border Security Pact With Arizona

In an effort to "crack down" on illegal crossings, the governor announced new border security measures that include border wall construction.
June 11, 2021
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday evening that the State of Texas will soon begin a “comprehensive border security plan” that will include entering an interstate compact with Arizona and continuing construction of the border wall.

Abbott made the announcement at a “border summit” in Del Rio, where he appeared with Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Major General Tracy Norris of the Texas Military Department, as well as Colonel Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

“President Biden’s open-border policies have led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs, and contraband pour into Texas,” Abbott said, calling it the “most robust and comprehensive border security plan the nation has ever seen.”

The governor added, “While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows. The state is working collaboratively with communities impacted by the crisis to arrest and detain individuals coming into Texas illegally.”

In order to form the interstate compact, Texas will employ the Emergency Management Assistance Compact with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican.

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The governor will include in the border security plan a task force composed of individuals representing Abbott, DPS, DEM, Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Texas Military Department, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

Abbott has faced criticism from former state Sen. Don Huffines, one of the governor’s opponents in the upcoming Republican primary, who has contended his border strategy is inadequate.

After the announcement, Huffines mocked Abbott and pointed out that the policy moves are consistent with some of Huffines’ campaign proposals.

“I would like to thank ‘all talk, no action’ Greg Abbott for joining my campaign by admitting that as governor he’s had the power for the last seven years to close down the Texas border, and has refused to do so,” Huffines said in a press release.

“His significant shift in tone today is a result of the massive momentum our campaign is receiving. As governor, I will finish Trump’s wall and actually close down the border. I will also end taxpayer subsidies to illegal aliens that Greg Abbott is funding in his current budget.”

Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City), who went to bat for the border wall during the regular session of the 87th Texas legislature, said he would be glad to aid Abbott’s effort to ramp up the state’s response to the border disaster.

“Trump got some of the border wall built. Biden stopped it. Now we have a crisis,” Slaton wrote on social media.

“I filed a bill for Texas to finish the wall, and the legislature ignored it. Now after session, [Abbott] wants to act. Good. Put it on the agenda of a special session. I’m happy to help.”

Abbott’s office said in a press statement that additional details regarding the continuation of border wall construction will be announced next week.

There were 180,000 enforcement encounters with illegal aliens in the southwestern U.S. in May, including more than 118,000 in the border patrol sectors of El Paso, Big Bend, Laredo, Del Rio, and the Rio Grande Valley, reflecting no reprieve for overwhelmed border patrol authorities.

In response to an extraordinarily high number of illegal crossings and the accompanying illegal activity, Abbott on Memorial Day proclaimed a state of disaster in many counties along the state’s southern border with Mexico.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."