Texas Gov. Abbott Presents State-Funded Border Wall, Slams Biden for Not 'Doing His Job'
This year, hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants poured into the US as the current administration canceled the construction of the southern border wall, laying siege to the border states. The authorities of these states have repeatedly called for the continuation of the wall construction to protect citizens from drug trafficking and crime.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has unveiled the first section of the state-built border wall on Saturday, calling it a "sharp rebuke" of Biden's "failure to do his job."
The governor spoke at a press conference
on Saturday afternoon in front of a portion of the newly constructed wall in Rio Grande Valley, surrounded by the state agency's officials.
"Texas is taking what truly is unprecedented action: A state to build a wall on our border, to safeguard the sovereignty of our state and of our nation," Abbott said. "Already this year there have been over 1.2 million people apprehended coming over the border illegally."
However, he noted that the official number does not include individuals who entered without being detected.
According to Abbott, Texas has determined that it is imperative to take action and construct a steel-barred border wall. The materials and labor, including the steel used to make the bars, come from local sources, a Texas Facilities Commission official said.
The governor also cited billions of dollars in unused materials from the federal wall project, which he claims the Biden administration has refused to hand over in order to assist with the project.
According to media reports, the White House allocated
unspent border wall funds to the Pentagon, while the materials already brought to the construction sites remain in the open air.
9 December 2021, 18:57 GMT
The wall, according to Abbott, is just one aspect of a "multi-pronged" plan that includes efforts by the National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to detain people who cross the border illegally.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush applauded the quickness with which construction began and advanced, vowing to keep up the momentum.
After the press conference, Abbott ordered a part of the wall to be raised, a procedure that took only about 10 minutes as a crane steadily lifted the wall segment, then builders fastened it at the base.
Abbott pledged that after the wall is constructed in full, the structure "will have multiple detection devices" and that the extra detection will allow for the quicker apprehending
of illegal aliens.
"People we apprehend will be charged with trespassing to the state of Texas, and those charges will lead to them going to jail," he emphasized.
Abbott approved the construction of the wall six months ago and then provided $3 billion in cash to the Texas Facilities Commission to help with the project. The governor emphasized that the wall is built on either state-owned territory or land that private property owners consented to give up in exchange for the wall.
Abbott asked citizens to donate to the wall construction via website crowdfunding, which he claimed has already surpassed $54 million.
Apart from discussing the migrant crisis as it is, he also brought up the fentanyl opioid crisis, claiming that state officials had collected "enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, and Florida combined."
19 December 2021, 01:36 GMT
Also on Saturday, Rep. Greg Murphy of North Carolina claimed that "every city is a border city" when it comes to the enormous opioid crisis in the US, and the fatal drug is coming from Mexico and China.
Fentanyl drug seizures across the border reached unprecedented highs in 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection data, as over 100,000 people overdosed on the drug in 2021, nearly doubling since 2019.