Gov. Greg Abbott
(R) said his state would continue the Trump administration
's proposed border wall
between the United States
, at least in his state.
“While the federal government is responsible for border security
, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis worsens,” Abbott said on Thursday at an event in Del Rio.
When Abbott announced his intention to send migrants
who cross the border between checkpoints to jail, the crowd erupted with cheers and applause. Abbott also said he would increase the number of law
enforcement agents sent to assist US Customs and Border Patrol officials, erecting new barriers "immediately."
President Joe Biden
put an end to former President Donald Trump
's border wall plans just hours after his January inauguration.
Although Trump had planned to build hundreds of miles of new wall at a cost of more than $11 billion, or $20 million per mile, the majority of the construction completed during his tenure
replaced existing wall segments that had been erected during previous administrations. Trump built only about 80 miles of new wall during his tenure, including 50 miles of primary wall and 30 miles of secondary wall.
Texas and Mexico have a 1,254-mile border.
“This is an unprecedented crisis, and Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen,” Abbott said, adding that more information will be released next week.
The Texas ACLU
slammed Abbott's announcement as a diversion from his "governing failures while targeting vulnerable migrants."
BREAKING: @GovAbbott just announced his plan to build a border wall, arrest
and jail migrants, and form an interstate compact with Arizona
the border. To be clear, this is an attempt to divert attention away from his governing failures while targeting vulnerable migrants. — ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) June 10, 2021
The increase in people
arriving at the southern border, particularly unaccompanied children
, has been a focus of Republican
attacks on Biden, who enacted a policy prohibiting the deportation of children. During his campaign, Biden pledged to end for-profit immigration
detention and to make America a more welcoming place for people fleeing violence and instability in their home countries.
However, progressive groups have criticized Biden's actions on immigration as not going far enough to help people in need. Many of those making the dangerous journey to the US border come from Guatemala
, El Salvador
, and Nicaragua, countries where critics say US foreign policy
has contributed to instability.
In May, Biden raised the annual refugee admissions cap from 15,000 to 62,500, after the administration sparked outrage the month before by indicating it would maintain Trump's record-low asylum
cap for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends in September. For the following fiscal year, Biden plans to set the number of refugee admissions at 125,000, far less than Trump's record-low asylum cap.
During her recent visit to Guatemala, Vice President Kamala Harris
delivered a straightforward message to would-be immigrants: "Do not come."