Officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety intercepted workers in April. Credit ... Christopher Lee for Hfrance.fr
In In March, Mr. Abbott implemented what he called Operation Lone Star, which allows the deployment of hundreds of agents and resources along the southwest to combat trafficking in human beings, drugs and weapons, said Victor Escalon, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. But deciding to build a wall may be a first for a state executive.
Mr. Abbott's announcement was quickly criticized by immigration advocates, who said it would most likely face legal challenges.
"There is no background plan " said Edna Yang, co-executive director of American Gateways, a group of Legal Aid and Immigration Defense in Texas. "This will not make any community or county more secure.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas tweeted , "To be clear, this is an attempt to distract from his failuresgovernance while targeting vulnerable immigrants. "
Mr. Trump has made the wall a signature campaign pledge and has often pressed his officials of Homeland Security to speed up construction of the project, thereby waiving federal contracting and environmental laws.
During his campaign, Mr Trump promised Mexico would pay for the wall, but instead redirected billions of Defense Department funds that were originally intended for anti-narcotics or construction programs. His administration eventually built more than 450 miles of new wall, mostly in areas where dilapidated barriers once stood. Most construction has taken place in Arizona, where migrants are already struggling over rugged terrain to cross the , rather than in South Texas , a prone areato illegal crossings.
Private landowners in South Texas have emerged as an obstacle to building Mr. Trump, many resisting the efforts of the administration to seize their land through a prominent domain. And then Mr. Biden suspended construction of the wall on his first day in office, as part of a series of moves to roll back Mr. Trump's immigration agenda.
The Biden administration and Mr. Abbott clashed over how to handle the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the in recent months. The administration was unable to redirect federal disaster relief funds to help with processing when Mr. Abbott refused to dconsent.
At the time, Mr. Abbott said that the federal government, not Texas, was responsible for asserting control .
When migrant children filled the detention centers run by the Border Patrol, the Biden administration responded by opening temporary facilities in a Dallas Convention Center, San Antonio Stadium and other vacant sites across the country. While Vice President Kamala Harris was in Guatemala this week, she discouraged potential migrants from going to the , telling them: "Don't come. "
The Biden administration still uses a pandemic emergency rule, known as Title 42, which allows agents workers to quickly turn away most single adults and many families crossing the into the hands of Mexican authorities. Mr Biden has exempted unaccompanied minors from the policy, which prevents most other migrants from having the opportunity to seek asylum.
Some families, however, were able to move to Texas because of a change in Mexican law which prohibited the detention of small immigrant children, and a lack of capacity to accommodation south of the . Instead of detaining these families, the US authorities orities are releasing many in the communities of Texas.