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Texas Set to Finalize Plan to Build 700 Miles of Wall at Southern Border

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Texas is expected to award a contract this week to begin construction of a barrier along its southern border with Mexico.

In an early-September statement on its website, the Texas Facilities Commission announced that a design firm and an engineering firm had been selected to oversee the project’s construction, The Texas Tribune reported last week.

That statement noted that the contract is expected to be awarded by mid-September — or sometime this week.

“The Texas Facilities Commission, which oversees state contracts, said in a statement it anticipates awarding the border wall project with more than $1 billion in available funding by mid-September,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“The commissioners must vote on the decision before the contract for a program manager can be awarded, and the final monetary amount has not yet been determined. The program manager will handle the budget and determine where to build.”

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Donations to fund a border wall being built by the state of Texas have already surpassed $54 million, according to the Texas Governor’s office. In August, the state legislature passed a $1.8 billion bill for efforts to fight illegal immigration, with almost half that amount going toward wall construction, the Examiner reported.

According to an Examiner analysis, there is a “substantive barrier” present on only 150 miles of the 1,250-mile border Texas shares with Mexico.

The state has identified more than 700 miles of border where the project can be built, according to the Examiner. The owners of the land have “agreed to let the state put up a barrier, which will allow Texas to avoid the lawsuits that held up the Trump administration’s efforts to seize private land for construction,” the Examiner reported.

The statement by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that’s posted to the state’s “Border Crisis Update” page explains the rationale for the project:

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“While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows. Texas is responding with the most robust and comprehensive border plan the nation has ever seen,” the statement declares.

“Open-border policies have led to a humanitarian crisis at our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, drugs, and contraband pour into Texas. The State of Texas is working collaboratively with communities impacted by the border crisis to arrest and detain individuals coming into Texas illegally.

“Our efforts will only be effective if we work together to secure the border, make criminal arrests, protect landowners, rid our communities of dangerous drugs, and provide Texans with the support they need and deserve.”

Three months into the project, progress is already taking shape. In June, Abbott tweeted a video announcing, “Building the border barrier has begun.”

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The project follows a disaster declaration Abbott issued June 1 covering 34 counties, later revised to 28 counties, to deal with the immigration crisis.

“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott said in the June 1 declaration.

“Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized on a daily basis while the Biden Administration does nothing to protect them. Texas continues to step up to confront the border crisis in the federal government’s absence, but more must be done,” he added.

In a June 28 Twitter post, he made the point even more clear.

“Texans agree with me over Biden on border response,” Abbott wrote.

“They want action, not empty words.

“While Biden does nothing to secure the border, Texas will get the job done.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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