On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state will be installing an inflatable barrier along the Rio Grande River to deter illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S.
Speaking at the Texas State Capitol, Gov. Abbott announced a series of legislation that is aimed at improving border security and protecting Texans from a record level of illegal immigration.
Abbott announced that a floating inflatable barrier will be deployed along the Rio Grand River in Eagle Pass. Example photos of these barriers show a string of connected, four-foot-wide inflatable spheres which spin when someone tries to scale them.
A press release from the governor’s office explains that the barrier 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-foot section of the barriers will be installed on July 7 and will cost the state $1 million, per the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw.
In addition to these barriers, Abbott also signed six new border security bills. A press release from the governor’s office said that these bills are intended to “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.”
“Thanks to the leadership and hard work of [Texas Department of Public Safety] Director [Steve] McCraw, General Thomas Suelzer, and their teams, Texas has pushed back against the swell of migrants and held the line to keep people out of Texas – but there’s more that needs to be done,” said Abbott. “The Texas Legislature has stepped up to make sure we continue to robustly respond to President Biden’s growing border crisis, including allocating $5.1 billion for border security.”
“Today, I am signing six bills from this year’s regular session to ensure that Texas can continue to do even more to stop illegal immigration at our southern border and provide new tools to the brave men and women along the southern border to protect Texans and Americans from the chaos and crisis of the border,” the Governor added.
The border security package I signed into law today will strengthen Texas' historic response to President Biden's border crisis.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 8, 2023
The bills signed by Abbott approve the Texas military to use unmanned aircraft for search and rescue efforts and permit U.S. Border Patrol Agents who have completed Texas DPS training to conduct arrest, search, and seizure procedures at border checkpoints. The new legislation also compensates landowners for property damages caused by illegal immigration.
Additionally, the legislation declares Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.