DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – During his border summit on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott said because an increasing number of people are crossing the Texas border, the state will build its own barrier or wall along the southern border. “I will announce next week the plan for the state of Texas to begin building the border wall in the state of Texas. You should not have to face that danger in your community. A change is needed.”
Natalie Nanasi, a law professor specializing in humanitarian immigration law at SMU, said the feds and others will be waiting to see the details of the governor’s plan. “I’m guessing that the federal government absolutely will step in and try to prevent this.”READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
Nanasi said it’s the federal government that has jurisdiction over enforcing immigration law, which includes a wall. “The question is, what is already there? How is this proposal going to interact with what’s already in place, again, either with respect to physical infrastructure, like a wall or a fence or something like that, or with respect to personnel.”
It’s not clear how the state will pay for the wall or barrier.
During the next two-year budget beginning in September, the state will spend $1 billion, an increase of $200 million from the current budget.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
The governor also announced the state will work with local law enforcement agencies to arrest people who cross the border on charges such as trespassing, vandalism and criminal mischief. “We will be arresting a lot more people in the future.”
To prepare for that, Abbott said the state will also work with local law enforcement agencies to increase jail space and alternative space.
Professor Nanasi said state and local law enforcement officers need to keep in mind more than just local and state laws. “The federal government has international obligations to protect vulnerable populations to ensure that asylum seekers with credible claims are not returned to their home countries.”
She said immigration law is complicated as it is and that local charges will make it even more complex.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
Full Interview With Professor Natalie Nanasi: