Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently ordered the deployment of a new form of border barrier, a floating one that’s meant to stop illegal crossings of the Rio Grande River.
Announcing the decision to deploy the floating barriers in a June 8th press conference, his office then described it in a press release, Gov. Abbott’s office said, “During the press conference, Governor Abbott also announced the deployment of new marine floating barriers to deter illegal crossings in hotspots along the Rio Grande River. This strategy will proactively prevent illegal crossings between ports of entry by making it more difficult to cross the Rio Grande and reach the Texas side of the southern border. The first 1,000 feet of the marine floating barrier will be deployed near Eagle Pass.”
The floating border barrier order came alongside a host of other orders and legislation meant to make Texas tougher for illegal immigrants to get into. At the press conference in which he announced the floating barrier, Gov. Abbott also signed six pieces of border-focused legislation into law.
Gov. Abbott’s office said the “six bills will expand Texas’ unprecedented efforts to hold the line and protect Texans from the record level of illegal immigration, weapons, and deadly drugs pouring into Texas from Mexico caused by President Biden’s refusal to secure the border.”
SB 423 gives Texas’ military forces the authority to used their unmanned aircraft for missions, along with using drones to monitor the Texas-Mexico border as part of the state’s Operation Lone Star program, which is meant to defend the border.
Additionally, Gov. Abbott signed SB 602, which expands the authority of US Border Patrol agents in Texas who have completed a Texas Department of Public Safety training program to arrest, search, and seize at ports of entry, dramatically expanding the number of agents who can do so.
SB 1133, also signed by Gov. Abbott, will reimburse agricultural landowners for damage caused by border crime, such as human smuggling, drug trafficking, evading arrest, and other border-related offenses. The maximum compensation for each farmer under the bill is $75,000.
SB 1403, which Gov. Abbott signed, gives him the ability to work with other states to “coordinate and execute” an interstate compact regarding border security. Such a compact would allow the states to share intelligence on border activity and pool resources to defend the border, thus helping them overcome the problems caused by the federal government’s insouciance on the topic.
SB 1484 allows agents in the Texas DPS to share their expertise in identifying criminal activity on the border with ordinary law enforcement officers by creating a collaborative training program for DPS and local law enforcement agencies.
SB 1900 ratches up tensions with the cartels by designating them foreign terrorist organizations in the State of Texas and updates the intelligence databases to reflect that new categorization of the cartels as terror groups, along with enacting new penalties that can be used to go after them.
During the signing of the bills and press conference, Gov. Abbott allocated over $5 billion for border security measures.
Featured image credit: Gov. Abbott’s Office
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