Texas Governor Announces Plan to Build Military Base Camp Near Eagle Pass
Texas Governor Announces Plan to Build Military Base Camp Near Eagle Pass

By Aldgra Fredly

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday a plan to build a military base camp in Eagle Pass that will house National Guard troops tasked with responding to what he refers to as “President Joe Biden’s border crisis.”

The base camp will be built on 80 acres of land in Eagle Pass and accommodate up to 1,800 Texas National Guard members, with room for an additional 500, to bolster the state’s border security capabilities.

“This will increase the ability for a larger number of Texas Military Department soldiers in Eagle Pass to operate more effectively and efficiently,” Mr. Abbott said at a press conference.

The Republican governor said that the base camp, called “Forward Operating Base,” would “dramatically improve” living conditions for soldiers deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Texas would not be able to respond to President Biden’s border crisis without the brave men and women of the Texas National Guard, and it is essential to build this base camp for them,” he added.

The base camp will include a 700-seat dining facility, a recreation center, laundry facilities, WiFi access, individual rooms for soldiers, chaplaincy programs, and medical and psychological health facilities.

Major General Thomas Suelzer told reporters that the Texas military department is planning to expand operations north and south of Eagle Pass and build more barriers in the coming weeks.

“We are also adding three more fan boats and expanding our drone program radar truck capabilities. Under Governor Abbott’s leadership, we are deploying every available resource and strategy to protect and defend Texas,” he said.

Razor-Wire Fencing Near Eagle Pass

Texas National Guardsmen add razor wire and barriers along the U.S.–Mexico border in Shelby Park, Eagle Pass, Texas, on Jan. 23, 2024. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Abbott recently set up razor-wire fencing in Eagle Pass, leading to a legal dispute between his administration and the White House. Last month, the U.S. high court handed down a ruling that allowed federal agents to remove the wire as the appeals process plays out.

“We are expanding to further areas to make sure that we expand our level of deterrence and denial of illegal entry into the United States,” the Republican governor said on Feb. 4.

Texas has installed more than 100 miles of fencing near the border, he said, adding that the wire should be protected despite the Supreme Court’s decision.

Mr. Abbott said that the fencing has proven effective in deterring illegal immigration in the past, noting that the area was once swarming with illegal aliens.

“This area was at one time, not too long ago, an area where there would be … sometimes 5,000 people crossing illegally,” he said. “Now that we’ve taken control of this area, for the past three days, there’s an average of only three people crossing illegally in this area.”

The governor also said that the Biden administration has handled the border situation poorly.

Republicans have long said that President Joe Biden’s scrapping of a number of Trump-era border controls caused the spike in illegal immigration in recent years.

During the 2023 fiscal year, a historic high of 2,475,669 encounters were recorded at the U.S.–Mexico border, according to data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“We can relinquish control of it tomorrow if Joe Biden were to step up and do exactly what we’re doing here and stop people from crossing the border illegally,” Mr. Abbott told reporters.

The Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision on Jan. 22, granted a request by the Biden administration to pause a lower court’s ruling that temporarily blocked federal agents from disturbing the fencing while litigation over the issue proceeds.

Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.

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