Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed plans to build a floating barrier in the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass, Texas. The Cochrane USA firm created the 1,000-foot-long structure, which is made up of four-foot-wide buoys. Abbot made the announcement Thursday afternoon while signing a slew of border security laws in Austin.
Governor Abbott said the barrier is part of a strategy to proactively discourage illegal border crossings by making it more difficult to cross the River Grande and reach the Texas side of the southern border. The first 1,000 feet of the marine floating barrier will be deployed at Eagle Pass on July 7, with building set to begin the following day.
At the ceremony when he signed six border-related measures into law, Abbott displayed photographs of the proposed water barrier, including a rendering of the proposed construct. The Cochrane corporate website now contains rendering pictures of the Eagle Pass water barrier project..
Although the barrier would only be 1,000 feet long at first, Abbott assured reporters at the signing ceremony that it may be relocated to other border hotspots or enlarged. The project will be funded by legislation signed into law by Abbott on Thursday, which allocates $5.1 billion for additional border security measures in the state.
Notwithstanding the elimination of Title 42 COVID-19 border deportation power, migrant crossings in Eagle Pass continue on a regular basis. According to law enforcement sources, migrant smuggling traffic has returned to pre-Title 42 levels in recent weeks, as reported by Breitbart Texas. In one South Texas county near Eagle Pass, 15 migrant smuggling instances were apprehended on rural roads over a seven-day span. Deputies from the Zavala County Sheriff's Office are still dealing with high-speed chases, injuries, and major private property damage as a consequence.
State law enforcement officials have adopted an expanded prosecution campaign, which includes detaining migrants who attempt to cross current border barriers and charging them with criminal trespass.
In Texas, criminal trespass is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 or up to 180 days in prison without enhancements. Most migrants charged with the misdemeanor plead guilty and are turned over to the Border Patrol to face administrative deportation or asylum proceedings. During an exclusive interview in June 2021, Governor Abbott said that when a state of emergency is declared, the penalty for these offenses is increased by one level.