Greg Abbott Gets Texas Border Wall Deal Amid Warning of Approaching Migrant Caravans

Texas' Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the grandson of former president George H. W. Bush, announced on Monday that the state's General Land Office (GLO) had reached an agreement with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to build Republican Governor Greg Abbott's border wall.

A release announcing the agreement said construction of the wall would begin in Starr County, an area that sits along a portion of the border near the southern tip of Texas. The land being utilized for this portion of the wall is a farm tract owned by the GLO, the release said.

"The signing of this lease agreement is the latest effort by Commissioner Bush to mitigate the immigration crisis following Governor Greg Abbott's emergency declaration to complete the Texas border wall," Bush said in the GLO release. "Washington continues to ignore the Biden Administration's border crisis, leaving Texans no choice but to take matters into our own hands."

"Working together, we will secure our border," Bush added.

On June 16, Abbot issued a disaster declaration, which provided $250 million to the state's Disaster Fund for the express purpose of building a wall. In his declaration, Abbot said the wall would "provide safety for (Texas') citizens" by mitigating the ongoing migration surge.

Bush echoed that sentiment. "As the border crisis continues to escalate, the lives of Texans are being endangered and we are at serious risk of losing revenue generated from leased lands along the Texas-Mexico border," he said in the statement.

Former President Trump Joins TX Gov. Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pushed for the state to construct a border wall and on Monday, the state's General Land Office announced a lease agreement for the a section of the wall in southern Texas. Pictured, Abbott speaks alongside former-President Donald Trump during a tour to an unfinished section of the border wall on June 30, 2021 in Pharr, Texas. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Abbott has taken a series of measures aimed at cracking down on migration at the southern border, which saw over 164,000 encounters in October. Under what the state is calling "Operation Lone Star," officers from the state DPS and members of the Texas National Guard are working "to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas," according to a release on Abbott's official website.

As a part of Operation Lone Star, the Texas DPS has used approximately 20 steel shipping containers along the Rio Grande riverbank in Eagle Pass to act in place of a wall. Abbott granted both the DPS and National Guard the ability to arrest migrants for criminal trespassing.

There have been reports of a 3,000-person caravan moving through Mexico with the intent of reaching the U.S. Earlier this month, the leader of the caravan said this group intended to converge with a separate caravan to create a group of roughly 4,400-strong. Caravan leaders said another group of roughly 6,000, most of whom come from Haiti, could eventually make its way to Eagle Pass in the near future.

"You might remember the Haitian crisis that happened in Del Rio, we have additional caravans coming as we speak," Abbott said during an interview with KTSM-TV on November 20. "We are building the Texas border wall because all law enforcement say that the border wall does provide a deterrent and a funneling method for people coming across the border illegally."