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GOP Skepticism Grows Over Abbott’s $20 Billion Border Wall

Gov. Greg Abbott’s border wall could take more than 30 years and cost more than $20 billion, and some Republicans are beginning to express concerns that the plan is simply not feasible

The plan began three years ago, and only 34 miles of steel bollards have been erected, costing approximately $25 million per mile. This infrastructure is scattered across six counties along Texas’ 1,254-mile southern border and is not yet a contiguous wall.

According to the Texas Tribune, the 34 miles of completed wall represent only 4% of the 800 miles that state officials have identified as needing some kind of barrier. Currently, officials said they hope to build half a mile a week, with projections of completing 100 miles every four years.

State officials have said that each mile built has cost between $25 million and $30 million. To get the wall built, the state would have to make an investment of $20 billion to $24 billion, not counting the half-billion needed to maintain each mile each year.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns about the wall’s mounting costs. 

“I am for border security. I am not against a wall. But to me, at least from what I can tell, it is a perpetual circle. We’re on the hamster wheel,” State Sen. Charles Perry said. “[At some point] the response has not to be more money for infrastructure. At some point this state must draw the line in the sand.”

Sen. Bob Hall also expressed concern that building a wall might not actually stop migration. 

“I am, too, concerned that we’re spending a whole lot of money to give the appearance of doing something rather than taking the problem on to actually solve it, and until we do that, I don’t expect to see much happen,” he said.

Despite these concerns, no Texas Republican has voted against border wall funding, with nearly $2.5 billion allocated in the current two-year state budget.

Construction of the wall has also encountered various problems, including changing soil conditions, staying away from irrigation systems, weather, and proximity to oil and gas operations. However, the biggest problem in building the wall is securing access to the land by convincing landowners to build the wall on their property.

Despite these challenges, Abbott and GOP lawmakers continue to push forward with the wall, buoyed by a substantial budget surplus and strong support from Texas voters.

Democrats, on the other hand, have pointed out that spending billions of dollars on a wall does not solve the immigration problems.

“Spending billions of dollars on a wall really does not address the root causes of the migration that’s happening,” said Morales, who is vice chair of the House’s Mexican American Legislative Caucus. “What we should be investing in is our education, our health care, real solutions for problems that are happening right now in Texas.”

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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