Texas is building a barrier along the state border with New Mexico, an action harshly criticized by the adjoining state’s government.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the state’s National Guard to install concertina wire in an area close to Sunland Park, New Mexico, at the border with El Paso, Texas, along the Rio Grande River. It is unclear how much fencing will be installed.
According to Abbott, the barrier is necessary to block migrants from entering Texas from New Mexico after they cross the border illegally. “Our barriers around El Paso forced the migrants crossing illegally to enter into New Mexico. They then entered into El Paso from there. To end that, we are building a barrier on the New Mexico border,” Abbott posted Sunday on X (Twitter).
In Abbott’s view, New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is clearly not doing enough to stop the influx of migrants, flocking to the southern border of the United States from Latin America in growing numbers. In the last months, tens of thousands of people have crossed into the US from California to Texas, by bus and cargo trains, on the heels of record migration flows further south (people from crisis-struck Venezuela for instance are migrating to neighboring countries). Many arrive in San Diego, California, and the Texan cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass. The crisis is positing a political challenge for the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden’s bid for reelection in 2024.
New Mexico reacted angrily to Texas’s decision, declaring they were given no indication of Abbott’s intentions. A spokesperson for Gabe Vasquez, NM Representative from the Democratic Party, says this is “one of the many political stunts that the Texas governor has cooked up to demonize immigrants and that provides no real long-term solution to the crisis that we’re facing. He has put up an illegal border wall with shipping containers, then he conned migrants into taking buses to other states without their clear consent, then he put up a death trap on the Rio Grande that drowned innocent migrants seeking asylum, and now, his latest stunt is putting up a barrier between Texas and New Mexico”.