Fighting between legislative leaders imperils Texas border security bills
The governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker generally agree on building more border barriers and making illegal border crossings a state crime. But disagreements over strategy and personal animosity mean those measures face long odds this special legislative session.
State Senate approves bill to spend $1.5 billion for border walls, more policing of Liberty County development
Along with the money to build more border barriers, Senate Bill 6 would devote $49 million to beef up law enforcement of the Colony Ridge development that’s become a target of far-right media.
State continues negotiating with landowners to construct more portions of Texas border wall
Securing the land rights to build Texas’ portion of a border wall is proving to be a tedious and daunting process according to officials with the Texas Facilities Commission. The comments came during a Jan. 4 TFC meeting when another border wall construction contract was awarded.
Border Crisis: Texas negotiates with landowners to build more segments of state-funded border wall
The Texas Facilities Commission continues negotiating with private landowners for the rights to build segments of a state-funded border wall. Without these agreements, the state can’t move forward with building more segments of the wall.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to bus migrants to Washington, D.C., will be voluntary
Abbott said he’s responding to the Biden administration announcement that it will lift a pandemic-era emergency health order that allowed immigration authorities to turn away migrants at the border, even those seeking asylum.
After 3 months of decline, border encounters increase
After seeing modest decreases during late summer and early fall, the number of people either caught illegally crossing the United States’ southern border or deemed inadmissible to the country increased during the month of November. According to Customs and Border Protection, agents reported 173,620 encounters last month, a 5% increase from Oct and a 142% increase from the same month last year.
Dan Patrick warns Democrats are allowing in immigrants for “silent revolution,” mirroring language of far-right extremists
Patrick’s comments mirrored a far-right theory that says political elites are replacing white populations through mass migration and demographic changes. He called the increase of migrants at the border an “invasion.”
Texas to spend $25 million on 2-mile concrete barrier amid Gov. Greg Abbott’s push for a state-funded border wall
The barrier in Eagle Pass is the first glimpse into how much a state-funded border wall could cost. But Abbott’s office says it’s a “concrete barrier” that is separate from his border wall push.
Justice Department sues Texas over Gov. Greg Abbott's order for law enforcement to pull over vehicles with migrants
On Wednesday, Abbott issued the order, allowing Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to reroute civilian vehicles back to their origin point or a port of entry, or seize the vehicles, if police suspect the driver is transporting migrants who have COVID-19.
Gov. Greg Abbott promised “transparency and accountability” for border wall donations. But donors don’t have to use real names.
Despite promises from Abbott that transparency in the crowdfunding process for the border wall would be paramount, donor information released to The Texas Tribune for the first week of collections was bereft of any way to verify the identities of the majority of the donors.
Gov. Greg Abbott says more apprehensions, drug seizures justify a border wall. Advocates say he's misrepresenting the numbers.
The governor said Texas needs to build a border wall to reduce migrant apprehensions and fentanyl seizures. But immigration and drug treatment experts say Abbott's oversimplifying the issue.
Gov. Greg Abbott wants to build a border wall. South Texas landowners are divided over whether they want it.
Some landowners who sued the Trump administration say they aren't "just going to roll over and give up" now that Abbott has taken on a border wall project. Others say a wall is needed to protect people and property on the border.
Gov. Greg Abbott is using a disaster declaration to help fund a border wall. Democrats say it’s an overreach of executive powers.
The disaster declarations give the governor broad power to suspend state laws and regulations that hinder a jurisdiction’s recovery from a disaster and to allow the use of available resources to respond to the disaster.
Work on the border wall continues — without social distancing
Work on President Trump’s border wall continues during the pandemic, the Dallas Morning News reports. Contractors are building a “mancamp” to house up to 80 workers, and work is continuing — with side-by-side laborers working on the wall near Columbus, New Mexico — near El Paso. A spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the paper the wall is considered “essential business” and was under the impression — incorrectly, according to the News — that the workers were following White House and CDC guidelines for social distancing. To see the photograph, click here and scroll through the News’ story. — Texas Tribune staff
Jared Kushner’s new assignment: Overseeing the construction of Trump’s border wall
He has blamed former chief of staff John F. Kelly and former homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not focusing enough on the wall, senior administration officials said. The wall adds to Kushner’s growing portfolio of responsibilities, which some of his critics have said border on comical. But he remains the most influential adviser in the West Wing and enjoys a level of trust from the president that makes him unique within the administration, according to current and former administration officials. Administration officials acknowledge that building in those areas amounts to the lowest-hanging fruit for the border wall project. Still, Kushner has told others that a wall has to be built because his father-in-law promised it would be.