Texas continues to take matters into its own hands to address the crisis at the southern border. This week, state lawmakers in special session approved a nearly $2 billion border security package, which includes more funding for a border wall. Construction on that barrier began earlier this summer, after Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state would use its own funds to finish the wall started under former President Donald Trump. Texas has also surged National Guard troops to the border and authorized them to arrest illegal border crossers for trespassing.
Kevin Roberts, president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, says Texas had no choice but to act on its own after the Biden administration essentially opened the border. "It's unfortunate that we have to use Texas funds to do this, because ultimately this is the job of the federal government," he says.
As for the $2 billion in state border funding, Roberts calls it a good start. "By allocating that amount of money, we're going to begin---but only begin---to mitigate the problem," he tells KTRH. "Ultimately it will require many more billions of dollars, hopefully coming from the federal coffers."
The other obstacle facing the state is the threat of legal action from the Biden administration, which has accused Texas of illegally usurping federal authority on immigration. "I think when that case gets into a court, especially if it's a court with a center-right judge, that the federal government is going to lose," says Roberts. "And ultimately that will be really good...for states' rights to fill in the gaps that the federal government has created."
It will take time, money, and legal victories. But Roberts believes the Texas wall will happen. "I think we will really realize the fruits of this money being allocated next spring, because that is when there will be the next big uptick in numbers of people crossing the border," he says. "And I think we're going to look back and say thank goodness."