- As part of a new comprehensive security plan to crack down on illegal border crossings, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that he plans to expand the wall along the state's border with Mexico.
- The governor said the state will take "decisive action" to expand the barrier and that more details will be provided this week.
- Abbott said he plans to appropriate more than $1 billion for his new security measures, which also include increasing detention facility capacity and the creation of a task force on border security. Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey are also seeking resources such as drones, helicopters and assistance from law enforcement officials in other states.
It's unclear whether Abbott has the authority to build a wall on his state's southern border, according to NBC News. While some of the land is owned by the federal and state governments, much is also private property, which was an obstacle that former President Donald Trump faced in his efforts to construct a wall.
Nevertheless, Abbott said that action is needed to solve what he called a humanitarian crisis in the state. In recent months the flow of migrants across the U.S. border has risen sharply, according to U.S. News & World Report.
"While securing the border is the federal government's responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows," Abbott said. "This is an unprecedented crisis, and Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen."
President Joe Biden's administration has made stopping border wall construction a priority since the early days of his presidency.
Only a few hours after Biden was sworn in, he rescinded Trump's national emergency declaration, which was used to redirect Pentagon funds to border wall construction, and gave contractors seven days to stop all border wall construction, including those projects that were recipients of direct funding, not just money diverted from the military, although the order made exceptions for emergencies and other urgent circumstances.
"Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats," Biden's proclamation said. "But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security."