Texas to build military base on Mexico border amid US migration crisis

Texas plans to construct a military base along the border with Mexico, the state's Republican governor has announced, as his election-year tug-of-war with the White House over migration continues to broil.

Governor Greg Abbott made the announcement on Friday of the new base in the flashpoint border town of Eagle Pass, where he has amassed National Guard troops from Texas and other Republican-led states to erect razor wire and other barriers in a bid to block migrants from entering the country.

The town lies along the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border.

The facility built on the site will be able to accommodate some 300 soldiers by April — and will have the ability to expand to house up to 2,300, Abbott said.

"This will increase the ability for a larger number of Texas military department personnel in Eagle Pass to operate more effectively and more efficiently," said the governor.

"Having the soldiers located right here, right by the river, they're going to have the ability to more quickly be able to construct that razor wire barrier," said Abbott on Friday, praising the "effectiveness" of the device.

A wave of illegal border crossings in recent months has made migration a key talking point in the US presidential election campaign once again, with Republicans seeking to pin the blame for the record-high numbers entirely on Democratic President Joe Biden.

Border 'invasion'

Abbott, a supporter of former president and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, accuses the Biden administration of allowing an "invasion" of illegal migrants at the country's southern border.

He also accuses the White House of failing to take action against the drug cartels that, according to him, control the border on the Mexican side.

Border control is a federal responsibility in the United States, but in January, the Texas National Guard moved into a municipal park in Eagle Pass, overlooking the river.

Abbott has also installed some 160 kilometres of barbed wire along the Rio Grande, a measure that the Biden administration is challenging in court.

The US Supreme Court has temporarily authorised the federal government to remove the barbed wire, but Texas has continued to install it while the dispute proceeds.

A new Texas law is set to take effect on March 5 that allows Texas state authorities to arrest and deport people suspected of crossing the US-Mexico border illegally, testing the legal limits of the state's authority.

The US Department of Justice and civil rights groups have sued to stop the law from going into effect.


Source: TRT