Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to do the "job of the federal government" in securing the U.S. border, and he announced a number of moves Thursday, including picking up the building of the Trump border wall in his state.
"I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state of Texas," Gov. Abbott said at a border summit Thursday in Del Rio, Texas.
Perhaps equally noteworthy, the governor's disaster declaration to address the border crisis will include potentially arresting anyone illegally entering the state of Texas.
After the summit, Gov. Abbott tweeted the highlights of his plans:
"Enhanced Border Security Plan:
- Disaster declaration — individuals entering TX illegally subject to arrest
- Task Force
- Approving over $1B in funding for border security
- Building border barriers
- Interstate compact powers
"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 at the summit, The Texas Tribune reported.
"They don't want to come to across the state of Texas anymore because it's not what they were expecting," Abbott added at the conference. "It's not the red carpet that the federal administration rolled out to them."
Abbott added via Twitter:
"TX is undertaking an unprecedented response to this crisis.
We're going to start making arrests — sending a message to anyone thinking about coming here — you're not getting a free pass.
You're getting a straight pass to a jail cell. #BorderSummitTX"
"President [Joe] Biden's open-border policies have led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs, and contraband pour into Texas," Gov. Abbott wrote in a statement after the summit. "While securing the border is the federal government's responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows. The state is working collaboratively with communities impacted by the crisis to arrest and detain individuals coming into Texas illegally.
"Our efforts will only be effective if we work together to secure the border, make criminal arrests, protect landowners, rid our communities of dangerous drugs, and provide Texans with the support they need and deserve. This is an unprecedented crisis, and Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen."
Abbott, who has been at odds with the Biden administration, also rebuked VP Kamala Harris' laughing off questions about her lack of visits to the southern border since being named the border czar by President Joe Biden.
"The border crisis is no laughing matter," Abbott said Thursday, the Tribune reported. "This is something that also is not a tourism site for members of Congress to make an annual pilgrimage to and see the border, and then go back and do absolutely nothing at the federal government level to solve the crisis."
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