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Texas reveals first portion of its self-funded US-Mexico border wall

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott standing before Texas' self-constructed border wall, Dec. 18, 2021. (Office of the Texas Governor/Released)
December 20, 2021

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed part of the state’s own constructed southern border wall on Saturday six months after authorizing the state’s effort to construct it.

During a press conference set in front of the section of wall, Abbott called the action “unprecedented” and praised Texas’ efforts to “safeguard the sovereignty of our state and of our nation.”

The section of border wall was constructed on state-owned land maintained by Texas General Land Office. The wall is constructed of steel bars, and the materials and labor are sourced locally.

When Abbott announced the authorization of Texas’ self-constructed border wall in June, he authorized an initial $250 million funding to serve as the construction’s down payment. In September, he signed House Bill 9 into law, which provided $1.8 billion in state funding for border security, which included border wall construction. Another billion was also allocated, and now Texas has dedicated $3 billion to border security, Abbott said.

“The State of Texas has taken comprehensive action to secure our southern border and address the border crisis while President Biden has sat idly by,” Abbott said in a press release.

Aside from its state funding, Texas also accepts donations from the public on a specially designated website. More than $54 million has been raised so far.

Abbott pointed to the overwhelming numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the border into the U.S., saying, “Already this year there have been over 1.2 million people apprehended coming over the border illegally.”

The 1.2 million figure reflects the border patrol’s records of migrants encountered at the border, though the number of those not encountered hasn’t been estimated.

Abbott said “multiple detection devices” will be completed along with the construction of the physical barrier in a “multi-pronged” strategy. He added that those who breach Texas’ border will be apprehended and jailed for trespassing.

The announcement came one day after Abbott appeared on Fox Business, telling host Stuart Varney that Texas’ border wall will “cost less than it did for the Trump administration.” Abbott noted the cost saving was possible because Texas already owns the land, or landowners are donating portions of their land on the border, so the state won’t incur the expense of buying land.

Aside from the border wall, Texas maintains National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety officers on the border.