(NewsNation) — Texas has begun installing concertina wire along its border with New Mexico in what the governor says is part of an effort to stem illegal immigration.
The Texas National Guard in recent weeks has been placing the wire along a stretch of Interstate 10 near the Mount Cristo Rey landmark, the Texas Tribune reported. The news outlet estimates the wire stretches for about 2 miles.
Fencing is going up in other areas of the Texas-New Mexico border, too.
Texas National Guard members were also previously seen installing razor wire along the Rio Grande River north of El Paso, Texas. The area around El Paso is fortified with fencing and wire as the city continues to grapple with an influx of migrants.
“Our barriers around El Paso forced the migrants crossing illegally to enter into New Mexico. They then entered into El Paso from there. To end that, we are building a barrier on the New Mexico border,” Abbott said Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Texas Military Department said in a statement to ABC News that the National Guard is “fortifying” the border between the two states.
“The Texas National Guard has heavily fortified the border in El Paso with 18 miles of concertina wire. We are now fortifying the border between Texas and New Mexico to block migrants who are entering New Mexico illegally and then crossing into Texas. The effort in El Paso was bolstered by the recent deployment of the Texas Tactical Border Force to El Paso. The Texas National Guard remains focused on operations to prevent, deter, and interdict transnational criminal activity and illegal immigration along the border,” the department said in the statement.
Caroline Sweeney, a spokesperson for New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, told the Texas Tribune that Abbott should “turn his attention away from a never-ending stream of political stunts and toward working in earnest for the people of the state he was elected to represent.”
Abbott has vowed the state will build its own border wall if the federal government won’t, and he’s asked the state legislature to appropriate more funds for barriers.
Abbott’s border initiative, dubbed Operation Lone Star, has also included empty shipping containers along the border with Mexico and creating a barrier made of floating buoys. The state is currently in court after the Biden administration sued over the floating barrier.
NewsNation producer Stephanie Whiteside contributed to this report.