Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he’s soliciting donations to build the US-Mexico border wall

Greg Abbott
Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum in Dallas, Friday, May 4, 2018.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he would solicit donations from the public to fund Texas’ border wall.
  • Abbott said he would welcome financial support from around the world.
  • The governor announced last week that Texas would begin building its own border wall.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told a podcast host on Tuesday that he would solicit donations from the public to fund the construction of Texas’ border wall.

Abbott said he would formally unveil the effort later this week and welcomed financial support from around the world.

“I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to for everybody in the United States – really everybody in the entire world – who wants to help Texas build the border wall, there will be a place on there where they can contribute,” Abbott said during an interview on the podcast “Ruthless.”

The governor announced last week that Texas would begin building its own border wall after President Joe Biden stopped most construction of the barrier when he took office in January. The governor also said his state would step up its arrests of migrants illegally crossing the border.

“Only Congress and the president can fix our broken border,” Abbott said during a speech at border security conference in Del Rio. “But in the meantime, Texas is going to do everything possible, including beginning to make arrests, to keep our community safe.”

The governor provided few details about how he would collect and spend the donated money, but said it would go to a fund “overseen by the state of Texas in the governor’s office” and pledged “great transparency.”

A different effort to raise money to build the border wall ended in scandal. During Trump’s presidency, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage and former top Trump advisor Steve Bannon raised more than $25 million for a border wall fund Kolfage created called We Build the Wall. Bannon, Kolfage, and two of their associates were arrested and charged with fraud. Bannon was pardoned by Trump shortly before the ex-president left office.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar slams Biden’s ‘shameful’ plan to restart construction on Trump’s ‘xenophobic and racist’ wall

ilhan omar joe biden trump wall racist
“It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall,” Omar Tweeted.

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar criticized President Biden for “continuing the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall.”
  • The Biden administration reportedly plans to continue “limited” construction on the wall.
  • President Biden had previously promised not to build “another foot of wall” during his presidency.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Ilhan Omar has criticized President Joe Biden for continuing the construction of Donald Trump’s “xenophobic and racist” southern border wall.

“It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall,” Omar said on Twitter.

The Department of Homeland Security is planning to resume some construction along the wall in order to plug “gaps” in it, the Washington Times reported this week.

Biden had previously pledged not to build “another foot of wall,” during his presidency.

The news came after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly told colleagues that while the White House had frozen spending for wall projects, “that leaves room to make decisions as the administration, as part of the administration, in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished.”

He said that “gaps,” gates, and parts of the wall where technology had not yet been installed could still be built, the Washington Times reported. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on Wednesday.

President Biden froze federal funding for wall construction on his first day in office and issued a 60-day moratorium in which he instructed officials to find a legal way to divert billions of dollars in funding that had been allocated for the wall, a deadline which has since passed.

When asked whether the administration did plan to plug “gaps” in the wall, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that most construction works had been paused but indicated that some for which funding had been allocated would continue.

“Wall construction remains paused, to the extent permitted by law,” Psaki said. “So some has already been funded through a congressional authorization and funding allocation. But as agencies develop for a plan – it’s paused while agencies are developing a plan for the President on the management of the federal funds.”

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The Biden administration missed its own deadline for working out what to do with Trump’s half-finished border wall

Trump border wall John darwin kurc
Border wall fencing mid-construction on January 20 2021, when Biden halted construction.

  • The Biden administration missed a March 20 deadline to come up with a plan for Trump’s border wall.
  • Officials have yet to pick whether to cancel or alter the multi-billion-dollar construction contracts.
  • A plan will come “soon,” said a statement to Insider.
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President Joe Biden’s administration has blown through a 60-day deadline by which it said it would figure out a plan for former President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Biden signed a proclamation on January 20, his first day in office, ordering work to stop within seven days. From that point onwards, almost all border wall construction has been on pause.

The pause provided 60 days for the administration to come up with a plan for repurposing the multi-billion-dollar contracts signed by Trump officials with various construction companies.

The 60 days was also meant to be enough time to find legal ways for border wall funding to be redirected to other projects.

The 60th day was Saturday March 20, which passed with no plan. Officials told Insider than they would figure it out “soon,” citing ongoing legal cases as a possible cause for the delay.

A spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget – one of the agencies overseeing the project – said in a statement:

“When the Administration took office, funds had been diverted from military construction and other appropriated purposes toward building the wall, and wall construction was being challenged in multiple lawsuits by plaintiffs who alleged that the construction was creating serious environmental and safety issues.

“Under those circumstances, Federal agencies are continuing to develop a plan to submit to the President soon.”

The spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for a more specific timeline.

As the 60-day deadline ticked down last week, Insider spoke to policy experts about what could be expected once the time was up.

David J. Bier, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, correctly predicted that the deadline would likely be extended.

Citing his conversations with administration officials, he said that the wall was simply not the focus while the Biden administration faces a major surge in border crossings.

“No one is saying anything about the border wall being some kind of solution to what’s happening,” Bier told Insider at the time. “No one is thinking ‘if only we finished the fence.’ Everyone is focused on: ‘How do we deal with the people who we process?'”

A surge at the border

On Sunday, Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas faced questions about the thousands of unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the US.

According to The Washington Post, there are now 5,000 children in CBP care and 10,000 in the hands of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mayorkas told CNN’s State of the Union that DHS is “working around the clock” to move children out of facilities.

He blamed the Trump administration for dismantling much of the infrastructure for humane processing.

As Susan Rice, Biden’s domestic policy adviser put it to The Post, “We’re basically having to build the plane as we’re flying.”

It’s not clear whether gaps or weaknesses in the incomplete border wall have contributed to the surge. Some people near the border have said that work under Trump did not make the border more secure, and has at times been counterproductive.

Laiken Jordahl, a campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity, has called for the complete restoration of formerly protected borderlands ruined by wall construction.

He told Insider last week that people smuggling can be facilitated by access roads cut by construction companies, a legacy of the wall’s construction.

“Whether or not the wall is built is largely irrelevant as we continually see people vault over the wall in a matter of seconds,” he told Insider last week.

And it appears that the border wall – whether it will eventually be left untended, completed, or torn down – will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

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