Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Tex.) announced on Thursday, June 10, that his state would install border barriers along the Rio Grande in easy-to-cross places and then begin arresting and jailing illegal immigrants on state charges, Washington Times reported.
“I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state of Texas. The border crisis is no laughing matter. It’s not a tourism site for members of Congress to visit and then return to DC and do nothing,” Abbott announced Thursday at the Texas border security summit.
“The influx across the border is out of control, and the Biden Administration has shown that is not going to step up and do its job,” Abbott told Breitbart Texas shortly before a border summit Thursday, June 10 in Del Rio.
Abbott’s announcement comes as Texas border towns and communities grapple with the consequences of Biden administration policies that encouraged enormous influxes of illegal immigration into the country.
In May, law police discovered 180,034 people attempting to enter the nation illegally, the most in more than two decades, the Post Millenial reported.
“One thing we know and that is a border crisis is plaguing the farmers, the ranchers, the residents of the entire border region. Your law enforcement officers, they are having to redirect their resources to deal with the border as opposed to deal what they normally deal with which is keeping your communities safe every day,” Abbott said.
Abbot’s comments also came as Vice President Kamala Harris ended up on a trip to Guatemala and Mexico to engage with leaders on the border situation. Guatemala’s president expressly criticized the Biden administration’s policies for the increase in migration and gang activity.
Abbott attributed the uptick in migrants to the Biden administration’s policy, noting year-over-year increases in illegal border crossing attempts. The governor slammed President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse the Trump administration’s “stay in Mexico” policy.
To back this up and send a message to illegal immigrants, the state intends more arrests and more jails, according to the governor.
“What people have seen in videos across the country seems to be the Biden Administration welcoming these people to the United States. We won’t be sending that message,” the governor said. “If you come to Texas, you’re subject to being arrested. You’re not going to have a pathway to roam the country. You’re going to have a pathway directly into a jail cell.”
Abbott, who proclaimed a state of emergency earlier this month, told Breitbart Texas that the barriers would offer a legal basis to arrest people independent of federal immigration law, aside from their physical deterrence of the barriers.
A Supreme Court ruling from 2010 involving Arizona legislation placed restrictions on what states can do in the area of immigration. Though state police-power statutes were upheld, they couldn’t declare illegal presence a criminal in and of itself.
“If they (migrants) move or interfere with that barrier, they have committed several crimes,” Abbott claims, further noting that those crimes include criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and damage of state or local government property.
The state’s declaration of emergency may also elevate the penalties for these crimes by one classification.
“Something that may be a Class B misdemeanor right now, turned into a class A misdemeanor,” he said. “That means up to 180 days in jail.”
“There’s even potential for state jail felonies for some of these crimes,” the governor stressed.
Abbott stated that illegal border crossings had increased dramatically in the Del Rio section of the border, which he said used to be “concentrated in the Rio Grande Valley.”
Abbott went on to say that residents in the Del Rio region are witnessing “seeing a lot of very bad dangerous people come across the border,” and “they need help from the state to help them address this exploding crisis.” Amidst reports of even more people coming in across the border, we know we have to step up and do more,” he said.