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Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said he will soon reveal a plan to construct a wall along Texas’s border with Mexico.
Abbott made the announcement to law enforcement officers, county judges, and mayors during a “border security summit” in the border city of Del Rio on Thursday.
“I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state of Texas,” Abbott said.
“The border crisis is no laughing matter,” he said. “It's not a tourism site for members of Congress to visit and then return to D.C. and do nothing.”
Abbott insisted "change is needed" as border towns in his state struggle with the effects of migrants flooding into the country.
“One thing we know and that is a border crisis is plaguing the farmers, the ranchers, the residents of the entire border region,” Abbott said, detailing a burden local police have been experiencing.
"Your law enforcement officers, they are having to redirect their resources to deal with the border as opposed to deal what they normally deal with which is keeping your communities safe every day," he said.
Abbott slammed the Biden administration's "open border policies" for the surge in migration, citing data that showed record year-over-year increases in illegal border crossing attempts. In particular, he blamed the administration's rescission of the "remain in Mexico" policy instituted by the Trump administration. He also blamed the increase in illegal migration on “a difference in commitment” between the current and most recent administrations.
“Now, the commitment is anybody who wants to come in is going to be allowed to come in,” Abbott said, repeating, “A change is needed.”
The Biden administration recently restarted construction on a levee system in Texas's Rio Grande Valley that President Biden paused on his first day in office, a move which congressional Republicans have repeatedly criticized. Forty Republican senators signed onto a letter to Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Gene Dodaro in March arguing that Biden's border wall pause was a “blatant violation of federal law” that “directly contributed” to the border crisis.
Vice President Kamala Harris spent the last several days in Guatemala and Mexico meeting with leaders about the border crisis and insisted afterward that "the problem at the border in large part, if not entirely, stems from the problems" in those and other Central American countries.
Border officials stopped 180,034 people trying to enter the country illegally in May, which was up from 178,622 attempts in April and is the highest number in more than two decades.
A official in the Biden administration's Department of Homeland Security suggested on Thursday that the numbers "overstate" the severity of the problem at the border.
“While recent encounter numbers are high, they also somewhat overstate migration flows, particularly among single adults,” Assistant Secretary for Border Security and Immigration David Shahoulian told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee in an opening statement during a hearing.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas will build its own border wall