Abbott tells ‘Border Security Summit’ he will build a Texas wall
DEL RIO, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday afternoon held what he billed as a “Border Security Summit” with a group of Texas sheriffs, police chiefs, county judges and mayors.
At the event, Abbott said he would soon unveil plans to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall in Texas, although he did not provide details on the cost or location. He also reiterated that state troopers will start jailing people crossing the border illegally.
“I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state of Texas,” Abbott told the gathering, as he also blasted federal lawmakers for inaction on immigration issues.
“The border crisis is no laughing matter,” Abbott added. “It’s not a tourism site for members of Congress to visit and then return to D.C. and do nothing.”
The governor said he was holding the summit to allow local leaders to hear from state officials on action being taken by the state of Texas to “secure the southern border and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
However, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego told ABC-7 he was not personally invited to the event. El Paso is home to the busiest ports of entry in the state of Texas.
“When I heard about the summit, personally I wasn’t invited through my email,” Samaniego said. “But right now we did a search and it looks like there was an email that went in to the general box, but it wasn’t directed to me.”
The governor said he would be naming a task force on homeland security consisting of representatives of multiple state agencies who would meet every couple of weeks with county officials in border communities.
Abbott also told the summit crowd that he would issue a new disaster declaration next week to create an enhanced security plan, noting that he had approved a billion dollar allocation in the state budget for border security.
The governor was joined at the summit by Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Major General Tracy Norris of the Texas Military Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.
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