Texas will soon begin construction on a border wall, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a border security summit in Del Rio on Thursday.
The summit was composed of sheriffs, police chiefs, county judges, mayors, district attorneys, and landowners throughout Texas’ border region.
As a part of the summit, he gave an address where he made several announcements as to both continued and new efforts to secure the border in the absence of action by the federal government. He was joined by Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, Major General Tracy Norris of the Texas Military Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw.
He briefly addressed efforts throughout the summit to discuss immediate solutions with the summit participants, including local government officials, law enforcement, and judicial leadership.
Abbott went on to announce that he was invoking powers under Article IV of the Texas Constitution to form the Governor’s Task Force on Border and Homeland Security. The task force will be composed of his office, the office of the Attorney General, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. He indicated that they would meet every two weeks with border region government officials and law enforcement personnel to come up with every solution to make the border safer.
Abbott said that next week he will issue a new disaster declaration creating an enhanced border security plan with a focus on increasing the difficulty for people to come to Texas illegally—and to make sure those who try face consequences for doing so. He indicated that the focus will be on significantly increasing arrests by having the Texas DPS work with local law enforcement
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