Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) challenged the Biden administration Friday to show that it had spent more money on securing the southern border than Texas has as the Department of Justice sues Texas over a floating barrier on the Rio Grande.
Abbott issued the challenge during a speech delivered in front of Republican Party county chairs in Georgetown, a city 25 miles north of Austin. During his speech, Abbott referenced the DOJ’s suit against Texas and said that the federal government was not doing enough to secure the border.
“I challenge the federal government to show that they have spent that much money in the state of Texas on the border under Joe Biden as president,” Abbott said, according to Fox 7.
Abbott defended the buoy barrier, which was put on part of the Rio Grande by law enforcement officials to stop illegal crossings as part of Operation Lone Star. The 4-foot-wide orange spherical buoys spin if someone tries to grab onto them, according to the New York Post. The barrier can be moved or extended if need be.
“It’s called operation hold the line,” said Abbott. “They are holding the line and ensuring that nobody enters the state of Texas illegally.”
The DOJ claims that it was unlawful for Texas to put up the barriers and said there were humanitarian concerns. “The floating barrier poses a risk to navigation, as well as public safety, in the Rio Grande River, and it presents humanitarian concerns,” a warning letter from the department said.
In a response letter, Abbott said that the “open-border” policies of the Biden administration were encouraging “migrants to risk their lives by crossing illegally through the water, instead of safely and legally at a port of entry.”
On Monday, the DOJ filed its suit against Texas, saying that it was violating the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899, a law that prohibits the “creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States.”
Abbott said on Friday that he will do whatever necessary to defend Texas’ border. Under President Joe Biden, record amounts of illegal aliens have flooded across the border, with many attempting to claim asylum. At the same time, deportations have dropped.
“I will do whatever I have to do to defend our state from the invasion of the Mexican drug cartels and others who have tried to come into our country illegally, and I will protect our sovereignty,” Abbott said.