President Joe Biden, at the federal level, may have put an end to the construction of the southern border wall, an effort started by former President Donald Trump. Now, however, one state is picking up where Trump was cut off.
The Washington Examiner reports that the Texas legislature just approved a border security bill that includes substantial funding for a border wall.
The measure, known as H.B. 9, was passed by the Texas Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 23 to 8; it has already passed Texas’s House. The total amount that the Texas legislature approved for border security is $1.8 billion, and roughly half of that is expected to go toward building a border wall.
The Texas-Mexico border is roughly 1,250 miles long. But, currently, only about 150 miles of that border is secured with some type of fencing. Now, however, with the additional funding, Texas is looking to add about 733 miles of border wall.
This is something that Trump attempted to do during his presidency. But, he was held up by lawsuits since the wall would be erected on residential property. A key difference here is that Texas has already gotten the permission of these property owners, which means that it should not suffer any legal setbacks.
The state is looking to get going on the effort as soon as possible. First, temporary fencing is expected to be erected before being replaced by a more substantial wall.
Other aspects of the bill
As stated, only about half of the $1.8 billion will go toward wall construction. That still leaves a substantial chunk of money for border security.
Some of it, roughly $300 million, will go toward funding an additional 1,800 National Guard soldiers, which, among other things will assist in the construction of the wall.
About, $270 million will go toward covering the costs of holding illegal immigrants in jails – some of this money, in fact, will go toward expanding state jails. And, about $32 million will go toward anticipated legal proceedings. The state is facilitating prosecution by putting up “no trespassing” signs, which give legal notice and thus will allow state law enforcement to do what it previously couldn’t: arrest trespassing illegal immigrants.
Finally, $133 million will fund an unspecified number of special operation troops from the Department of Public Safety.
All that is left now is for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to sign the bill into law.
This is a virtual certainty considering that the bill was introduced in furtherance of Abbott’s border policies.