Governor Greg Abbott tells Texans along the border, the Lone Star State will step up and do what the federal government has failed to do.
“I will announce next week, the plan for the State of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state,” Abbott announced.
Abbott telling the crowd his decision Thursday during a border security summit in Del Rio, saying the barrier will make it easier to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
In addition, a new task force is being formed in Texas to handle border security. The task force will feature multiple law enforcement groups including Department of Public Safety and the Emergency Management Division. The group will meet every two weeks to discuss border security and what's being done to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Abbott also approved a billion dollars to be spent on border security from the latest budget.
On Thursday, the Governor says the real victims are the farmers, the ranchers and the residents in the border region. That's why he says state and local officials have to go after the criminals.
“We will be arresting a lot more people in the future,” Abbott said.
On that topic, the governor was referring to more than just the thousands of illegal immigrants parading across private land.
“There’s nothing more significant in terms of a crime threat in Texas than the Mexican cartels and their collaboration with violent gangs throughout the state and transnational gangs,” Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw said.
McCraw says rooting out the gangs is the key to solving the crisis. He says the gangs are not just bringing drugs, but weapons. Which is why he welcomes additional barriers and boots on the ground.
“We always know about the drug cartels involvement in marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and now fentanyl. They dominate those markets, but weapons are very important to them,” McCraw explained. “Because they are engaged in a violent war between themselves and the government of Mexico.”
He says law enforcement are constantly dealing with bailouts and high-speed chases with gang members. As part of his comprehensive plan, Governor Abbott says he wants to expand jail space in county facilities across the state.