Texas continues to build concertina wire barriers, border wall

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Texas National Guard troops are continuing to build concertina wire barriers and expand Texas’ border wall through Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star.

Since launching OLS three years ago, Texas achieved a milestone this month of installing more than 100 miles of concertina wire along the Texas-Mexico border.

Gov. Abbott has argued the concertina wire is an effective barrier that denies illegal entry. Texas is currently embroiled in lawsuits with the Biden administration over the concertina wire barriers and marine barriers in the Rio Grande River, arguing it has the constitutional right to defend its border. Congress has passed laws to secure the border the president is flouting, Gov. Abbott maintains, which is why Texas is “stepping up to secure the border and protect Americans.”

In the border county of Zapata, the Texas National Guard is continuing to build the Texas border wall. “Texas won’t back down. We are using every tool available to secure the border in Biden’s absence,” Gov. Abbott said when posting a video of the wall’s construction.

Construction continues on the Texas border wall in Zapata County.Texas won’t back down.We are using every tool available to secure the border in Biden’s absence. pic.twitter.com/8oIDM12l1q— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 25, 2024

Earlier this month, he also posted a video of Texas’ border wall being constructed in neighboring Maverick County.

Border wall construction continues this morning in Maverick County.Texas is the first and only state in U.S. history to build our own border wall. pic.twitter.com/8XgHG6z57w— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 3, 2024

Roughly every month, he posts videos on social media of Texas border wall construction.

Of the more than $11.6 billion the Texas Legislature allocated to OLS over a four-year period, $3.1 billion was allocated to expand border barriers and infrastructure, including constructing Texas’ border wall, The Center Square reported.

In addition to Texas taxpayers funding OLS, Americans have donated funds towards Texas’ border security efforts. According to state data, as of Dec. 8, 2023, Texas has received over $55.4 million in donations to fund its border wall and over $100,000 to fund its border security efforts.

Texas began building its wall identifying an initial 40 miles “of the highest priority to secure the border,” costing roughly $25 million a mile, The Center Square reported.

Hundreds of miles west of Zapata and Maverick counties in El Paso County, Texas National Guard soldiers are continuing to reinforce miles of newly installed concertina wire. In a recent OLS video, Spc. Newman Gideon, explained their efforts, saying, “My responsibility on the border is to provide security for the teams going in and clearing out brush to make way for more concertina wire. If there’s a hole that’s already been cut, we are going to take pliers and wire cutters to repair and close that gap they created,” referring to illegal foreign nationals. He said it’s important that the Texas National Guard “is here to stop migrants crossing into the United States.”

Texas’ military operations base is also being expanded in Eagle Pass, The Center Square reported. Texas OLS Forward Operating Base camp will house 1,800 troops with the ability to expand up to 2,300, the governor first announced in February.

“Texas is amassing a large army in a very strategic area” to increase the speed and flexibility of soldiers’ ability to respond to illegal activity, he said when posting a video of the recent build out.

Aerial view of the Forward Operating Base ongoing construction in Eagle Pass.This base camp will house thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers working to secure the border. pic.twitter.com/0j5I7CEcC4— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 22, 2024

In January, Texas’ first Border Czar Mike Banks had served his first year helping to direct OLS efforts. “The border has always been a very tough issue, not just politically but actually the terrain because every time you put something in place that starts working the cartels on the south side adjust. It’s a monumental job,” he said in a video reflecting on his first year.

Texas will continue to protect Texans and Americans, he said, backed by “a determined legislature working with the governor to create enhanced consequences and create laws in addition to what we’re doing. We’re going to keep pushing forward. We’re not going to back down.”

The Center Square first reported on Banks’ first year and OLS efforts effectively moving illegal entry west into New Mexico, Arizona and California.

“As Texas gains control of an area,” Banks told The Center Square, “we’re going to maintain that area and we’re going to expand. We’re going to gain, maintain, expand. We’re going to cut off illegal entry into the state of Texas.”

A Texas congressman filed a bill in February requesting Congress to reimburse Texas for its border security efforts, The Center Square reported.