Texas provides initial $250mn for border wall with Mexico

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Houston, June 17 (IANS) Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced providing $250 million in state funds as initial payment to build its border barrier with Mexico.

During a press conference on Wednesdayin the state capital of Austin, Abbott said: “Texas will build a border wall in our state to help secure our border,” Xinhua news agency.

Also on Wednesday, Abbott directed the Texas Facilities Commission to hire a program manager for the construction, but he did not give details about how long the wall would be or where it would be built.

“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,” he said.

According to local media report, Abbott hinted last week that he would create a border barrier to stem the flow of immigrants and illegal drugs into the state without giving details on where the barrier would be built or how it would be funded.

The funds for the state’s $250 million payment will come from the state budget, according to the Texas Tribune newspaper.

Lawmakers will allocate money from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice into a disaster account, which will then be moved to the Texas Facilities Commission for the border wall construction.

Abbott has blamed President Joe Biden’s administration for a recent surge of immigrants on Texas’ southern border, saying in an earlier disaster declaration that new federal policies have paved the way for “dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities”, ABC News 13 reported.

Abbott has deployed National Guard troops to the border and ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to arrest immigrants and charge them for state laws such as trespassing, illegal entry, smuggling and human trafficking.

–IANS
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