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Abbott’s border barrier construction begins, Texas National Guard assisting

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, June 22, 2020. Abbott said on Tuesday that Texas would set a daily record for new coronavirus infections -- more than 5,000. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)

The construction of barriers along the state’s boundary at the border began Monday, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Barriers are a part of the governor’s broad border plans to address the number of migrants coming into the U.S. through Texas.

On Monday, the governor tweeted: “Building the border barrier has begun. The 1st step is to get easements on land. The 2nd step is to clear the land for the building process. That is what is happening here.”

A video showing brush cleared on an undisclosed property was shared along with the tweet.

Two weeks ago during an Austin news conference, the governor explained barriers will be used to create “no trespass” zones.

“Anybody who comes through or around, or near that barrier is subject to being arrested for aggravated trespassing, because these counties are subject to a disaster declaration,” Abbott explained, referring to enhanced punishment for certain crimes under a disaster declaration.

Last week, the Texas Military Department confirmed the use of engineers of the Texas National Guard were assigned to assist with the fencing.

“Some of the Texas National Guard engineers already assigned to this mission will work to build temporary fencing, in conjunction with several other state agencies,” a statement from the Texas Military Department read.

The barriers are a ‘stop-gap’ measure, Abbott said. The governor’s plans also include the construction of a border wall that will initially use $250 million from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The Texas legislature’s budget that allocates over a billion dollars for border security was approved by Abbott in Del Rio on June 10.

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(c) 2021 The Monitor

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