Texas Announces $250 Million Down Payment to Build Border Wall
Republican Governor Greg Abbott transfers appropriated funds Criminal Justice Dept.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced he is dedicating $250 million to a disaster fund to pay for the construction of a wall along the state's border with Mexico.
The huge down payment is being transferred from appropriated funds from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
During a press conference, Abbott said that state officials have secured the funds to start the border wall to help respond to Democrat Joe Biden’s border crisis.
In a letter, Abbott revealed he directed the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Bryan Collier to “transfer $250 million in General Revenue to the Disaster Fund within the Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor.”
He said the funds are “a down payment to begin design and construction of physical barriers on voluntarily donated private and public lands that border this state and Mexico.”
“Though securing the international border and protecting the life and property of its citizens surrounding that border is the duty of the federal government, the current administration has shown time and time again an unwillingness to embrace this fundamental responsibility,” states the letter, signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, and House Appropriations Chair Greg Bonnen.
“As noted in the disaster declaration, Texas has invested a significant amount of its own resources to take action where the federal government has failed,” the letter adds.
During a press conference in Austin on Wednesday, Abbott said Texas is stepping up to address the humanitarian crisis being faced by Texans living along the Mexican border.
“I will tell you this,” Abbott said while addressing the Texas border crisis, “the federal government is spending seemingly, all of its resources concerning the border on the people who are trying to enter into the state of Texas.”
“I’m focused on the humanitarian crisis that Texans are suffering through,” he continued.
“Texans on the border are suffering through a humanitarian crisis by having their lives disrupted with guns and gangs and being riddled with crime.
"As Texans, we have a responsibility as leaders in this state, to step up and address their humanitarian crisis in that is what began today.”
Texas State Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) added that the Legislative Budget Board has the authority under Article 9, Section 14.04 to make the transfer during a disaster declaration.
At the request of county judges along the border, Governor Abbott made such a declaration earlier this month.
Abbott called the $250 million transfer a “down payment” on what he anticipates to be hundreds of miles of new border walls to be built on land already owned by the State or private property where owners volunteer their land for this purpose.
“My belief based upon conversations that I’ve already had is that the combination of state land, as well as volunteer land, will yield hundreds of miles to build a border wall in Texas,” Abbott explained.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) said that up to three million people could illegally cross the border into the United States this year including hundreds of thousands who are never apprehended.
He called the governor’s letter to President Joe Biden demanding the return of land to Texas the “most consequential letter signed by any governor in modern history.”
“This document will go down as one of the most important documents in the history of Texas,” Patrick stated.
“Because it’s reclaiming our land, our border, our country, our state, for the people of Texas and America.”
House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Orange) also praised the governor’s leadership and ingenuity for “finding a Texas solution to a Washington, D.C. problem.”
“This is a legal crisis. This is a security crisis. This is a humanitarian crisis,” Phelan said.
“These are children and families being smuggled across the border.
“These are drug cartels, bringing in weapons that end up on the streets of not just Texas but this entire country.”
Governor Abbott declared this program to build a Texas border wall begins today.
“This program is officially funded in the State of Texas,” he said while signing the order to transfer the $250 million down payment.
The governor also announced a website, BorderWall.Texas.gov, where people can learn about the plans and contribute money to help build the wall.
“Many have already sent checks to the State of Texas for this purpose and many more have a desire to do so,” the governor said.
“This provides a donation site, as well as the site we can find out more information about what the process is about building the border wall.”
“The Biden Administration has abandoned its responsibility to apply federal law to secure the border and to enforce the immigration laws, and Texans are suffering as a consequence of that neglect by the Biden administration,” Abbott said in conclusion.
“In the federal government’s absence, Texas is stepping up to get the job done.”
"We will build a wall,” the governor said.
"We will secure the border.
"But most importantly, we will restore safety to the citizens who live in the Lone Star State."