Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Tuesday warned that the border crisis is “not sustainable” as he explained how his office came to sue the Biden administration over its ending of wall construction, while also tearing into Texas Democrats for fleeing the state.
“I can tell you this is the worst I’ve ever seen it and the statistics bear that out,” Bush told Fox News about the border crisis in an interview, referring to stats that show more than 188,000 migrants apprehended in June.
“Farmers and ranchers are long accustomed to illegal activity but it’s reached a point where it’s not sustainable and we need help from the federal government,” he said.
He announced the lawsuit last week as part of the Texas Defense Task Force, set up by Bush to identify federal overreach and push back against perceived threats to the Texan economy. It sues Biden as well as the Department of Homeland Security on the grounds that ending the wall construction is illegal.
More than 450 miles of border wall, including in Texas, were built during the Trump administration. Opponents of wall construction said it was cruel and ineffective, while proponents said it was a vital part of a border strategy to stop the flow of illegal immigration.
Bush told Fox that a wall is one in a number of tools that can be used to help stop the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S.
“It’s a very effective tool to combat illegal activity, drug cartel pressure, and at least be able to direct illegal activity to a direction where federal authorities, state, county and local law enforcement can better interdict and contain the threat that’s being presented to border communities and folks around the country,” he said.
He said the lawsuit came about after his office was approached by farmers near Rio Grande City. The unfinished wall was on a stretch of land that would have been along state lands if it had been completed.
One farmer “was noticing waves of migrants coming across his acreage that’s leased from the states of Texas, so we started building the case, like a good lawyer does, evidence to bring this case against the federal government,” he said.
By setting up cameras and other tools, it showed about 1,500 migrants were moving across state land maintained on the border each month.
Bush’s announcement comes after Gov. Greg Abbott said last month that Texas is forging ahead with its own efforts to build a wall – announcing a $250 million down payment on the project. It is also being funded by public donations and nearly $400,000 was raised in the first week.
“I think my message to folks who aren’t in Texas is to come and learn more about the cost and burden we’re absorbing, because people are getting tired of it and they want help from their national government,” Bush said.
He also described the Texas Democrats who fled the state to deprive the state legislature of a quorum to vote on election integrity legislation as “absolutely disgraceful.”
“I think it’s extraordinarily disappointing, not only to the way we govern in Texas but to their constituents, and we should change the constitution so a legislator who quits their job in the middle of a special session should not get paid per diem and should not be paid a salary,” he said.
He said he believed what he called a “PR stunt gone awry” had hurt them politically, and also took a swing at their choice of beer.
“I think a lot of constituents, including Democrats here in Texas, are upset that their leadership has fled the state, have left in private jets and cracked open Miller Lites,” he said. “I don’t know what the most offensive part of it – maybe it’s the Miller Lite. As good Texas beer drinkers, there’s plenty of great Texas beer they could have had.”