Texas border wall construction starts in Rio Grande City

Texas has broken ground on a state-funded border wall. Other barriers, including this section pictured in Mission in June, already have been constructed.

Construction crews have begun work on a border wall funded by the state of Texas and personal donations, Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned Saturday.

Speaking in entrance of a section of the wall in Rio Grande City, Abbott mentioned the barrier is being constructed utilizing the identical supplies utilized by former President Donald Trump, who oversaw construction of 17 miles of obstacles in Texas throughout his time in workplace.

“Texas is taking what really is unprecedented motion by any state ever, for a state to construct a wall on our border to safe and safeguard the sovereignty of the United States, in addition to our personal state,” Abbott mentioned, flanked by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department.


More:Abbott, nine GOP governors come to border to blame Biden for ‘humanitarian crisis and chaos’

Border safety has been a prime precedence for Abbott this yr as he prepares to hunt a 3rd time period subsequent yr. He has devoted important state sources towards the border, arguing that the Biden administration has did not act to stem the inflow of migrants there.

“This unprecedented motion is required for one single purpose,” Abbott mentioned. “That’s as a result of the Biden administration has did not do its job as required by the Constitution, as required by legal guidelines handed by Congress to implement the immigration legal guidelines of the United States of America.”

In May, Abbott issued a catastrophe declaration and introduced that he deliberate to assemble a barrier utilizing a mixture of state {dollars} and personal donations. He mentioned the barrier can be constructed on land volunteered by non-public property homeowners. The first section is being constructed on land managed by the General Land Office.


More:Gov. Abbott signs $1.8B border spending bill, funding for Legislature

Trump, who championed construction of a barrier alongside the Southwest border, constructed 453 miles of main and secondary partitions, however work was halted after Biden took workplace.

Abbott on Saturday mentioned the state-backed wall beneath construction now could be “a replication of the border wall that President Trump put up,” utilizing the identical design idea and supplies, which embrace thick metal posts. The Texas Facilities Commission is overseeing 5 contractors chosen to design and construct the barrier, together with one which labored on Trump’s wall.

Earlier this yr, state lawmakers allocated roughly $1 billion to assemble the wall — in addition to $2 billion for different border safety initiatives, together with deploying extra regulation enforcement personnel to the border and growing prosecutions of migrants arrested for misdemeanor offenses.


Some House Democrats bristled on the price ticket throughout debate over the spending proposal in August and requested pointed questions on how disbursement by Abbott’s workplace can be monitored.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who’s working for governor, known as Saturday’s occasion a “photo-op.”

“Border communities are uninterested in Greg Abbott internet hosting photo-ops as an alternative of fixing the true challenges going through our border communities immediately, just like the Abbott Tax border households can pay on their utility payments as a result of he has failed to repair the grid,” O’Rourke mentioned in an announcement.

More:‘Slush fund’? Texas House OKs $1.8B in border security spending over objections from Democrats.

The governor additionally has been amassing non-public donations for the border wall effort and mentioned Saturday that he had raised $54 million. A Texas Tribune investigation discovered that 98% of these donations got here from one out-of-state billionaire: Timothy Mellon, who gave $53.1 million in inventory to the state in August.

Abbott declined to say Saturday how a lot all the venture in the end would price, citing variables akin to totally different terrain alongside the border or waterways that construction crews must navigate.

“We’re going to spend as a lot because it takes to construct as a lot wall as we presumably can,” he mentioned.

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