Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed the move during a June 8 press conference. According to him, the deployment of the new floating line of buoys will begin "pretty much immediately" in Eagle Pass, Texas. Abbott made the announcement while signing a series of border security bills passed by the Texas Legislature, which approved $5.1 billion in funding to the state.
"What we're doing right now [is that] we're securing the border at the border. What these buoys will allow us to do is to prevent people from even getting to the border," said the governor of the Lone Star State. He continued that Texas will continue to employ strategies that are effective in preventing illegals from entering the country unlawfully – including "mile after mile after mile" of inflatable buoys.
Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), said the latest deployment of buoys will cost less than $1 million. He added that the first 1,000 feet of buoys will be strung together in the Rio Grande in Maverick County on July 7. The area is often used by human smugglers, McCraw noted.
According to the DPS drector, the buoys sit about four feet above water and can be anchored to the riverbed below with webbing to prevent someone from swimming underneath. Testing done by DPS special operators confirmed the difficulty of going over or through the barriers.
"Because of the water and the buoyancy of these, it's very difficult to be able to go through … [or] to come. [There are] ways to overcome [the barriers] – but it takes great effort, specialized skills and equipment to do it," McCraw explained.
"We don't want anyone to get hurt. In fact, we want to prevent people from getting hurt. We want to prevent people from drowning, and this is a proactive way. We don't want people to come across and continue to put themselves at risk."
According to Abbott, the barrier will be deployed strategically as needed. However, he did not reveal any other locations where the floating buoys will be set up.
"One of the goals is to slow down and deter as many [illegal immigrants] as possible," he said. "Some may eventually get to the border, where they are going to face that multi-layer razor wire and the full force of the [Texas] National Guard (TNG) and DPS officers. They will not be allowed to pass."
"They both know they have one instruction: Do not allow anybody to enter into the state of Texas."
The inflatable barriers announced by Abbott are an addition to the Lone Star State's arsenal against border crossers. Previously, TNG members have laid out razor wire on certain land areas of the border. Eleven other Republican states have sent guardsmen from their respective areas to back up their Texas counterparts. (Related: DeSantis: Florida National Guard "proud to help" Texas counterparts in addressing Biden-inflicted BORDER CRISIS.)
However, Abbott's proposal was not without criticism. Rodolfo Rosales, state director of the Texas chapter of the League of United Latin Americans Citizens, blasted the measure as inhumane, barbaric and ill-conceived.
"We view it as a chilling reminder of the extreme measures used throughout history by elected leaders against those they do not regard as human beings, seeking only to exterminate them, regardless of the means employed," he told CBS News.
"It is with profound horror and shame that we bear witness to the consideration of these measures, which are evidently intended as political theater, but will undoubtedly result in the loss of innocent lives among the refugees seeking asylum in the United States."
Visit BorderSecurity.news for more stories about Texas implementing measures to secure the southern border.
Watch Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) disclosing that the Biden administration is "encouraging the chaos" and "more flow" of illegals across the southern border.
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