The Texas Senate recently passed a $1.8 billion bill to build more than 700 miles of border wall and fencing. The bill, H.B. 9, was passed by a 23-8 vote, with several Democrats from border districts In support. The bill is now headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signing and the project will be carried out by the Texas National Guard.
Support for a Texas border wall has skyrocketed, with private donations soaring to more than $54 million. Gov. Abbott launched a fundraising website in June where people could help pay for the wall and raised around $1.25 million only two months into the effort. Donations jumped to nearly $19 million by Aug. 27 and then hit $54 million by Aug. 31.
Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said that the governor is grateful for the support across Texas to secure the border and “fill the gaps” created by President Joe Biden and his administration.
“In less than eight months, President Biden’s dangerous and reckless open border policies have led to a disaster along our southern border, with 21-year record-high numbers of illegal immigrants surging into our country. While the Biden Administration may not prioritize the sovereignty of our nation or the safety of our people, Americans clearly do,” Eze said.
It remains to be seen how much of the border wall the donations could pay for, but existing contracts have paid around $25 million for a nearly- 2-mile stretch of concrete barrier. With record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs, and contraband, it is not surprising how many people are using money out of their own pockets to fund the project.
The state of Texas is also collaborating with communities to arrest and detain individuals coming there illegally. Texans admit that they feel “on their own” when it comes to securing the border, making arrests, protecting landowners, ridding the communities of dangerous drugs, and supporting one another.
Gov. Abbott tweeted announcements at the end of June that the border barrier building has begun. He said they have to get easements on the land, clear it out for the building process, then work with the Texas Facilities Commission to hire a program manager to oversee the entire process.
The project was announced shortly after Gov. Abbott issued an emergency declaration covering 34 counties to deal with the immigration crisis. He said Biden’s policies have “paved the way” for Texas to be the home for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like Fentanyl. Biden’s policies have also caused landowners to deal with seeing their properties damaged and vandalized on a daily basis.
The Biden Administration abandoned all responsibilities at the border and ordered an immediate halt on the construction of the fence. They even left a gaping 20-foot gap at one of the most vulnerable stretches of the US-Mexican border.
Richard Barragan, a Border Patrol agent in the El Paso sector, pointed out the broken wall and hanging iron fence leftover. He explained how federal contractors abandoned thousands of tons of steel and building materials to gather rust after Biden ordered them to halt construction. The Biden Administration also announced plans to pull $2.2 billion in funding for the construction of the wall.
Despite a lack of funding and security, there is still a surge in migrant border crossings that the Border Patrol agents have to deal with on a daily basis. Agents even took it upon themselves to plug up the gaping hole in the border wall with old truck tires and pieces of stray construction materials.
The Biden Administration immigration enforcement has been lacking and Gov. Greg Abbott is left to pick up the pieces. If the federal government isn’t doing its job to protect the people, then the state has the obligation to do so.