KEY POINTS

  • The border barrier "would become the basis for arresting migrants"
  • Abbott said that he would give more details on the border wall next week
  • He blamed the migrant surge on the Biden administration’s immigration policies

In a bold attempt to stem the issue of illegal migration, Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday announced the construction of a border wall along the state’s boundary with Mexico. He also spoke about his plans to increase arrests along the border.

"Change is needed to fix the border crisis," Abbott was quoted as saying by CNN.

The Republican governor made the announcement during the Border Security Summit. He also spoke about other initiatives to address the issue, including appropriating $1 billion for border security from the newly-passed state budget and a plan of forming a task force on border security.

“It will help all of us to work on ways to stem the flow of unlawful immigration and to stem the flow of illegal contraband,” Abbott said, according to The Texas Tribune. He said that he would give more details on the border wall next week.

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, who was present in the summit breakout session, said that Abbott did not disclose specific details of how or when the border would be constructed. But Saenz said that as per him, "the border barrier would become the basis for arresting migrants" as damages to the fence would be used to "press charges for trespassing of a private property," CNN reported.

Talking about his plans to increase arrests along the border, and increase jail spaces, Abbott said: "They don't want to come to across the state of Texas anymore because it's not what they were expecting. It's not the red carpet that the federal administration rolled out to them.” 

Abbott blames the border migrant crisis on the Biden administration which has pledged not to build the wall that former President Donald Trump promised on the southern border. 

The Biden administration issued a proclamation stopping border wall construction on his first day of office. It said that funds meant for border wall construction projects would be redirected elsewhere.

Under the new administration, Vice President Kamala Harris is at the helm of dealing with border migration issues. She recently met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and discussed issues confronting Central American Migrants through Mexico to the U.S. border.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Harris referred to issues on poverty and violence as driving forces for migration.

Trump mounted a hardline effort to halt illegal immigration, slash legal immigration and drive out undocumented immigrants Trump mounted a hardline effort to halt illegal immigration, slash legal immigration and drive out undocumented immigrants Photo: AFP / Luis ACOSTA