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Gov. Greg Abbott during a June 8 press conferencein Austin, Texas. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Wednesday the state budget would provide $250 million as a "down payment" to help fund the construction of a wall at the state's border with Mexico.

Why it matters: Former President Trump pledged to build a wall along the southern border, but only 450 miles of new barriers had been completed by the end of his term, per the Washington Post.

  • President Biden terminated the national emergency declared by Trump used to fund his wall plans and is returning more than $2 billion redirected from Department of Defense projects for the border project.
  • Trump, who will visit the border with Abbott later this month, faced opposition from "private property owners unwilling to allow the federal government to build on their land," the Texas Tribune notes.

What's happening: Abbott told a news conference that his belief, per conversations he's had with officials, is that a "combination of state land as well as volunteer land will yield hundreds of miles to build a border wall in Texas."

  • He did not detail precisely how long he planned the wall to be nor its location, but he has directed the Texas Facilities Commission to hire a program manager to determine this, along with the total budget.
  • Abbott said the $250 million in funding was "more than enough to hire a project manager and contractor to begin building the wall," declaring: "Texas will build a border wall in our state to help secure our border."
  • He also called on the Biden administration to return land taken by the Trump administration for its border wall.

The other side: State Democratic Sen. Cesar Blanco told the Texas Tribune the border wall funding had not been discussed during conversations about the budget.

  • "Building a wall from El Paso to Brownsville is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security and it's a huge waste of taxpayer money," Blanco said.

What to watch: Abbott said he will write to Biden to ask for the return of land taken by the Trump administration to build a border wall.

  • He told the podcast Ruthless on Tuesday that he would seek donations from members of the public to fund the wall.
  • The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: DHS to address damage caused by border wall construction

Go deeper

Sep 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

N.Y. Times compares Biden to Trump

U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande on Sunday. Photo: Felix Marquez/AP

Citing moves on Afghanistan and the border, two N.Y. Times items compare President Biden to the predecessor he defeated:

A news story — "Biden Pushes Deterrent Border Policy After Promising 'Humane' Approach" — notes this week's images of the border roundup "could have come straight from former President Donald J. Trump’s immigration playbook."

DHS temporarily suspends use of horse patrol in Del Rio

U.S. Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas a DHS spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: The suspension comes after images showing border patrol agents reportedly whipping at and charging their horses at migrants surfaced earlier in the week, prompting widespread criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

CBC members nix border visit

A Haitian migrant carries a toddler on his shoulders today as he crosses the Rio Grande River. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus weighed visiting the U.S.-Mexico border this week to investigate the conditions faced by Haitian migrants and protest allegations of inhumane treatment by U.S. agents.

Why it matters: It's a thorny proposition both in terms of timing and messaging. Going assures a new wave of negative headlines for President Biden amid sinking popularity. And with congressional deadlines in the coming days over infrastructure, a possible government shutdown and debt-limit crisis, Democrats can't afford to lose any votes in the House.