As Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is moving to allocate $250 million of state taxpayer money toward completing the southern border wall within his state, which began construction under President Trump but halted under President Biden, “The Five” discussed how governors are filling the absence of leadership at the federal level when it comes to the migrant crisis.
On Thursday, host Dana Perino pointed to Abbott’s decision to use state money for what is supposed to be a federal responsibility as a result of inaction from Biden and Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“I think it is very real,” Perino replied when asked whether Abbott is acting in real support of his state, or in support of partisan politics. “Especially if you are in Texas and one big frustration has to be for the governor that they have this problem, the federal government is unwilling to help—but immigration and border security is a federal government responsibility.”
“That’s why it’s amazing that they say, ‘we will take a billion dollars of state taxpayer money to try to deal with this problem,'” she said. Texas allocated $1 billion to border security with $250 million being a down payment for the border wall.
Perino added that she understands Abbott’s frustration with the Biden administration.
“On the political side of things, because of the lack of action by the Biden administration, you are allowing these governors a chance to shine,” she said, adding that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, R, is the other border state governor appearing to make decisions towards addressing the issue.
However, she noted, the other two border state governors, Govs. Michelle Lujan-Grisham of New Mexico and Gavin Newsom of California—both Democrats—are not being proactive in addressing border security.
Cohost Jesse Watters recalled Biden’s predecessor who sought to help states with their crises rather than ignore them.
“I remember when we had a president that would help the states. He sent New York ventilators,” Watters said, referring to former President Trump giving federal assistance to New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now Biden is hanging Texas out to dry, so [Abbott] stepping up.”
“But like Dana said, it is hard for a governor to build a border wall because most of that is federal land in the land that is not federal land, it is privately owned, all landowners adjacent to each other all have to agree to have a wall built,” Watters noted.
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During a testy exchange in a congressional hearing on Thursday, Mayorkas bristled at Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., who asked him about Vice President Harris’ “laugh” about visiting the border, and whether that was a proper response.
“I consider that question to be quite unfair and disrespectful,” Mayorkas replied.