The barrier will supposedly be 1,000 feet long and composed of four-foot-wide inflatable floats that look like linked blow-up balls. Additionally, when someone attempts to grasp onto one of these floats, they spin around, making it impossible for anybody to climb over.
“By creating conditions that are more challenging to cross the Rio Grande and get to the Texas end of the southern border, this policy would proactively reduce unlawful crossings between ports of entry,” according to the governor. “The ocean-based floating barrier’s first 1,000 feet is going to be set up close to Eagle Pass.”
He said at a news conference, “We can place miles upon miles upon miles of these buoys. One of our aims when dealing with groups of 100 or 1,000 people is to halt and dissuade as many of them as we can.”
Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, estimates that the first phase of the floating barrier, built by Cochrane USA, would cost around $1 million.
As part of a larger attempt to deter border crossings, Texas is using a number of techniques, including the floating barrier. These include deploying personnel of the National Guard and state police as well as installing barbed wire alongside the banks of the Rio Grande river. The Texas Legislature passed a two-year budget this past month with $5.1 billion allocated for border security.
Eagle Pass officials, who have been dealing with a significant inflow of illegal immigrants, have endorsed Abbott’s policies. Eagle Pass is a tiny community.
Local mayor Rolando Salinas Jr. remarked, “We support it if it means that fewer people will be able to cross unlawfully through the center of Eagle Pass. We want to prevent any disruption to our businesses downtown or our international bridges.”
At the Texas Capitol, Abbott also gave his approval to a number of border security laws that were approved during the 88th Regular Legislative Session. The purpose of these six laws is to strengthen the state’s efforts to protect its citizens from the humanitarian catastrophe at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has been made worse by Joe Biden’s failure to secure the border.
In a statement, he stated:
“Texas has resisted the influx of migrants by holding the line in order to keep immigrants out of the state, yet additional work has to be done. This is due to the leadership and dedication of Director McCraw, General Suelzer, and their troops. In order to ensure that we continue to resolutely address President Biden’s escalating border problem, the Texas Legislature has taken action, including appropriating $5.1 billion for security along the border. Six bills from this year’s regular session are being signed today in order for Texas to be able to do more than ever to stop illegal immigrants from arriving at our southern border and to give new tools to the brave individuals guarding the southern border in order to safeguard the people of Texas and Americans from the chaos and crisis there.”
Agents intercepted 2.3 million immigrants at the southern border in the fiscal year 2022, which ended in September of last year. The number of arrests hit 1.2 million in the initial half of the 2023 fiscal year, thus this year is probably going to set a new record.