Texas Gov. Greg Abbott met former President Trump in front of an unfinished section of south Texas border fence Wednesday in an attempt to drum up support for his opposition to President Biden’s reversal of Trump’s immigration policies.
“President Biden needs to start right there and finish building the border wall,” Abbott said, greeted with applause from a congressional delegation of more than a dozen Republican lawmakers and former Trump appointees who had come to support them.
“We produced the safest, best border we’ve ever had,” Trump said. “And now, in a very short period of time, it’s over.”
Abbott, who served as Texas attorney general before becoming governor, is up for reelection next year but is also seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. He spent much of the first half of the year railing against Biden’s “open-border policies” and criticizing Vice President Kamala Harris for not visiting the hardest-hit areas of the Texas border, including the Rio Grande Valley surrounding Weslaco. When Harris finally visited El Paso last week, Abbott said she was “ignoring the real problem” to the east in Del Rio and the Rio Grande Valley, where migrant apprehensions have spiked.
Border Patrol encountered 180,034 migrants last month at the southern border, 40% of whom had previously crossed and been expelled under a pandemic policy started by Trump and continued by Biden. During the Trump administration, the highest recorded number of monthly apprehensions was about 150,000.