Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to build a wall, and he isn't claiming Mexico is going to pay for it. Instead, the Republican is encouraging people to crowdfund a wall along the state's border with Mexico with donations of cash and land, the New York Times reports. The governor said Wednesday that the state would set aside a $250 million "down payment" and begin the search for a project manager. He said the state plans to build "hundreds of miles" of wall but provided few details, reports the Washington Post. Abbott accused the federal government of failing to deal with a "tidal wave" of migrants and said the border was "far more under control" during the Trump administration. Abbott is encouraging local law enforcement to start arresting migrants for misdemeanors, including trespassing.
In a podcast interview Tuesday, Abbott said the state would create a portal where anybody in the US or elsewhere "who wants to help Texas build the border wall, there will be a place on there where they can contribute," per the Texas Tribune. Former Trump adviser Steven Bannon and three other men were charged last year with defrauding donors to a "We Build the Wall" campaign, though Trump later pardoned Bannon. Abbott said in the Tuesday podcast that the state's border wall fund will be overseen by the state and there will be "great transparency." "Everyone will know every penny in, every penny out, but the sole purpose for those funds will be going to build the border wall,” said Abbott, who will seek a third term in office next year. (Read more Greg Abbott stories.)