AG Ken Paxton to Newsmax: Taking 'Matters Into Our Own Hands' at Border
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Saturday the lack of federal action by the Biden administration on the border crisis is forcing the state to take "matters into our own hands," by funding and building its own wall.
"Not just no help, but the Biden administration is doing harm to our state."
Paxton said he was encouraged, however, to hear former President Donald Trump will travel to the region June 30.
"I have accepted the invitation of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to join him on an official visit to our nation's decimated southern border Wednesday, June 30," Trump said in a statement.
"What [President Joe] Biden and [Vice President Kamala] Harris have done, and are continuing to do on our border, is a grave and willful dereliction of duty. My visit will hopefully shine a spotlight on these crimes against our nation and show the incredible people of ice and border patrol that they have our unshakable support."
Paxton said, while the state cannot build any barriers on federal land, it can construct something on state-owned or private land.
"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, uh, they may try to stop us, but I guarantee you they will have the fight of their lifetime that they do."
Paxton said the $250 million "down payment" in the state budget announced this week by Abbott, will be a good start, but more will be needed to complete the project.
"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."
Abbott said earlier this week the state was putting $1 billion in its budget to strengthen border security because the federal government has failed to do so.
"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."