Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces plan to build border wall and arrest migrants

Texas will begin building its own border wall and next week will begin arresting migrants who trespass on private property, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday.

“Change is needed to fix the border crisis,” Abbott said.

The order was one of several new initiatives announced by Abbott during the Border Security Summit, including appropriating $1 billion for border security, asking the federal government for relief for landowners and creating a task force on border security.

Abbott said he would provide more details on the border wall next week.

He also spoke of a disaster declaration he had issued last week, which directed the state’s Department of Public Safety to enforce both federal and state criminal laws, including criminal trespassing, smuggling and human trafficking while having Texas Health and Human Services Commission take “all necessary steps” to discontinue the state licensure of “any child care facility that shelters or detains unlawful immigrants” under a contract with the federal government.

Abbott said the effort to jail migrants will require the cooperation of local mayors, law enforcement, prosecutors and judges and that arresting more people will require more jail space, something he says he plans to work on with county officials to achieve.

Abbott kicked off his remarks by blaming the border crisis on what he calls the “open-border policies” of the Biden administration.

Last week, Abbott teased on Fox News that he was planning to arrest all migrants entering the country starting this week. During the Border Security Summit, he said the arrests would start next week.