(USA Features) Texas GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton said Sunday the Lone Star state is taking border matters “into our own hands” amid a dearth of leadership from the Biden administration.
Paxton told Newsmax TV’s “The Count” that will include building the state’s own border wall, to pick up where former President Donald Trump left off after newly inaugurated President Joe Biden canceled border wall construction on his first day in office.
“We have to sort of take matters into our own hands because we are getting no (federal help),” Paxton said. “Not just no help, but the Biden administration is doing harm to our state.”
Republicans in the state and Congress have blasted the Biden administration for reversing most of Trump’s border enforcement agenda, which they say has led to the current migrant and drug-smuggling crisis.
Paxton did say he looks forward to Trump’s visit to the Tex-Mex border on June 30th.
He went on to note that Texas couldn’t build any border wall segments on federal land, but that walls and barriers could go up on state-owned and private lands.
“If it’s Texas property, or it’s private property where we have a deal with the landowners, I don’t think the federal government has any say of that’s not,” Paxton said.
“It has nothing to do with them and … they may try to stop us, but I guarantee you they will have the fight of their lifetime that they do,” Paxton added.
The AG noted that a $250 million “down payment” in the state’s budget that Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, will announce this week is a great start but more resources will be needed to finish the job.
“We have over a 1,200-mile border – so, first, the state can figure out which part they are going to do, $250 million to start as a good start, and I think there is going to be private funding that will add to that, but that is not sufficient to cover the whole border,” Paxton said.
“So, I think it is going to be a priority issue, and then it’s going to be working with private landowners to see one of those sell it to us. If they don’t whether we can use eminent domain to continue the wall where we need it,” he added.
Abbott addressed the mass of illegal immigration last week, as well as the need for more wall construction.
“The problems people are suffering on the border continue to get worse,” Abbott said. “They are getting worse for the people who live in that region, and they are getting worse for people living in all the regions across the entire state of Texas.”
He and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) have asked states to send additional law enforcement assistance to help deal with the crush of migrants and drug smugglers. Florida, so far, as responded, and South Dakota is said to be considering sending personnel.