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Texas leaders react to President Biden’s new border policies

Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 11:19 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Within hours of getting sworn into office, President Biden started reversing many of former President Trump’s policies, including signing an executive action to halt wall construction at the southern border. Laredo, Texas is one of the border towns that does not have a wall yet.

“The people we’re worried about more is possibly terrorists, drug smugglers, human traffickers, people that are exploiting women and children,” said Tyler Kraus, who was hoping for a wall. Kraus is a Laredo resident and Chair of the Webb County Republican party.

“There is no border, there is no physical barrier at all,” Kraus said.

Kraus lives just 3 miles away from the Rio Grande river, which separates the U.S. and Mexico.

Construction of a steel barrier stretching 40 miles in Webb County was estimated to start September. But after President Biden signed a Proclamation on Inauguration day to stop building and funding the wall, White House officials said they will now analyze each contract over the next two months and decide to “resume, modify or terminate projects”.

“Border agents know I want to know from them how things are going, I want to see for myself, and so I can tell you they are very concerned,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Laredo border agents say this stretch of the border is busy. In fiscal year 2020 alone, the agents reported 43,000 illegal entry encounters and seized more than 39,000 pounds of drugs.

While many officials say the wall is an important solution, some like Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) are praising Biden’s swift actions for finding more effective and economical ways to police the border.

“The wall is a 14th century solution to a 21st century problem. You gotta have technology, cameras, sensors, drones,” said Cuellar.

Congress will be considering Biden’s sweeping immigration reforms, which include calling for expedited screening machines and funding for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to help them deal with poverty and corruption.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he and his team are carefully reviewing all of Biden’s executive actions and vow to take the President to court if he’s violating the law on immigration and other policies. They already succeeded Tuesday when a federal judge blocked a 100-day pause on deportations.

“I don’t have a specific strategy to give you. All I know is that if they are not following the law, if they’re not following the Constitution, if they’re overstepping their constitutional grounds, we will step in and try to stop them,” said Paxton.

Paxton said he believes Biden’s new immigration policies specifically will directly impact his Texans with higher crime rates, more costs to the state and increased COVID spread.

Copyright 2021 Gray DC. All rights reserved.

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