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Texas Gov. Abbott shows completed section of state-made border wall, pledges to protect state's sovereignty

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott debuted the first part of the state-made border wall Saturday, which he labeled a sharp rebuke of Biden’s "failure to do his job."

Abbott authorized the building of the wall six months ago, and then authorized $3 billion funding for the Texas Facilities Commission to bolster the building effort. Abbott stressed that the wall stands on either state land or land that private owners agreed to hand over for the wall. 

"Texas is taking what truly is unprecedented action: A state to build a wall on our border, to safeguard the sovereignty of our state and of our nation," Abbott said during Saturday's press conference

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and Texas Facilities Commissioner Steven Alvis watch a section of the border wall go up following Saturday's press conference.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and Texas Facilities Commissioner Steven Alvis watch a section of the border wall go up following Saturday's press conference. 

"Already this year there have been over 1.2 million people apprehended coming over the border illegally," Abbott said, noting the number did not include those who entered undetected. 

He also raised the fentanyl crisis, saying that state authorities have seized "enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, and Florida combined." 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference where he signed two energy related bills, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference where he signed two energy related bills, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas has therefore deemed it necessary to take action and establish a border wall, which is composed of steel bars. A TFC official said the materials and labor will come from local sources, including the steel used to produce the bars. 

Abbott pointed to billions of dollars worth of material from the federal wall project that remains unused, which he said the Biden administration has not agreed to turn over to help with the project. 

A pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico in Yuma, Ariz., Thursday, June 10, 2021, to seek asylum. The families are part of an influx of asylum-seekers entering the U.S. in the Yuma area from South America and other continents. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

A pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico in Yuma, Ariz., Thursday, June 10, 2021, to seek asylum. The families are part of an influx of asylum-seekers entering the U.S. in the Yuma area from South America and other continents. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

Abbott described the wall as just one part of a "multi-pronged" strategy, which will include efforts by the National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to apprehend individuals who illegally cross the border. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush praised the speed with which building started and progressed, pledging to continue that pace. 

To demonstrate the building capability, Abbott ordered a section of the wall raised after the press conference - a process that took only around 10 minutes as a crane slowly erected the wall segment, then workers secured it at the base.

"Once it is completed, it will have multiple detection devices," Abbott said, adding that the additional detection will allow swift apprehension. 

"People we apprehend will be charged with trespassing to the state of Texas, and those charges will lead to them going to jail," he explained. Texas has researched a "pre-defense" for any criminal proceedings to ensure that "all procedures will be followed." 

Abbott also directed Americans to a website where they can donate to the border wall funding, which he said has already totaled more than $54 million. 

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