Border wall a huge undertaking for Texas

 Washington Examiner:

Gov. Greg Abbott’s promise to finish former President Donald Trump’s border wall in Texas will likely be the biggest project the state undertakes during his administration as he simultaneously looks to secure a third term.

Furious about the 21-year high in illegal immigration at the 1,950-mile southern border, Abbott vowed in mid-June to bolster the state’s border in an effort to prevent continued drug and human smuggling.

Texas has more international border than fellow border states Arizona, California, and New Mexico. The Texas-Mexico boundary stretches for 1,241 miles, but just 145 miles of it has any sort of substantive fence or wall, according to federal planning documents from Trump-era wall projects and information provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Abbott wants to put up a wall on the remaining 1,100 miles. At an average cost of $20 million per mile, it is a tall order — even for the massive state of Texas.

The southern tip of Texas is roughly half the distance for Central American migrants traveling from Mexico’s southern border than if they traveled to California, making it a far quicker and cheaper journey for migrants. Consequently, Texas has seen more than half of all illegal immigration at the 1,933-mile border since the start of the government’s annual year in October 2020.

ABBOTT FACES TWO MAJOR OBSTACLES IN QUEST TO FINISH BORDER WALL

Migrants have far fewer issues getting across the border in Texas than in other states because just 12% of the land has any sort of government-funded barrier to block people from entering. Recognizing that, the Republican governor put a $250 million down payment toward the project and hired a program manager to begin planning where a wall should be built.

Where there is wall

Approximately 145 miles of constructed border line the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Of that, 90 miles were installed as part of the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which President Joe Biden voted for despite changing his views on the issue as a presidential candidate in 2019 and 2020 to oppose infrastructure between ports of entry. The barrier put up then remains standing, is approximately 10 feet tall, and is no longer deemed adequate by CBP to prevent crossings.

The other 55 of the 145 miles were installed during the Trump administration. Congress funded wall projects each year between 2017 and 2021. The White House wanted more than Congress was willing to give and cited a national emergency in order to take unrelated money from the Defense Department. In total, 280 miles of wall totaling $3.2 billion was planned for Texas, but builders could not complete 235 miles worth of projects by the time Trump left office in January.

The 55 miles of barrier that were put up under Trump stand at least 30 feet tall and are made of slatted steel beams. Because more than a dozen projects were not finished before Biden canceled them this spring, bits and pieces stand up and down the border, including the western region of El Paso, the southeastern region of the Rio Grande Valley, and the Del Rio region in south-central Texas. Portions stretching no more than a couple of miles pop up on the border near busier ports of entry, but for the most part, Texas is wide open with only ranch fences in many

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It makes sense to do the Lower Rio Grande Valley first to make the journey across the border more difficult.  It also makes sense to work with Mexico to take on the cartels responsible for the migration.  Those groups have profited greatly from Biden's bad policies.

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