As reported by One News Now over the weekend, Greg Abbott – the Republican governor of Texas – said he intends to use state funds to build a barrier in an effort to stem the tide of illegal immigrants who have poured across the U.S.-Mexico border since Joe Biden took office.
"The influx across the border is out of control, and the Biden administration has shown that it is not going to step up and do its job," Abbott told Breitbart Texas after making his announcement. "And amidst reports of even more people coming in across the border, we know we have to step up and do more."
Art Arthur is a resident fellow in law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, which describes Texas as "the epicenter of the illegal immigration crisis." He says while the state of Texas has the ability to erect barriers, there are a number of environmental hurdles that have to be cleared before the state would be able to do so.
"In federal law, there are waivers for the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to erecting barriers along the border," he explains. "Unfortunately, the state of Texas does not have those waivers available to it – and groups have come forward to say that they would in fact attempt to block border wall construction in Texas."
Arthur warns the lawsuits could slow, if not completely stop, the Texas wall construction.
There's also the legal challenge posed by claiming land via eminent domain, according to a senior fellow with the Migration Policy Institute.
"In all situations," Muzaffar Chishti told KWTX-TV, "whether the federal government [builds a border wall] or the state government, eminent domain uses a power that is subject to a lot of resistance – and he [Governor Abbott] will meet that resistance."
In a move that angered Abbott and other Republicans, Biden – in one of his first acts as president – paused federal construction of the border wall started by former President Donald Trump.