Texas Governor Announces New Military Base Camp on Border

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said on Friday that the state would begin building a forward operating base in the border city of Eagle Pass for up to 2,300 soldiers, creating the most significant military infrastructure yet to support the state’s efforts to limit the number of people crossing illegally from Mexico.

While Texas has been deploying National Guard troops and state police officers up and down the state’s border since 2021, the move to create an 80-acre base camp cements a large law enforcement infrastructure in the region and signals Texas’ commitment to a security role that previously belonged almost exclusively to the federal government.

“This will increase the ability for a larger number of Texas military department personnel in Eagle Pass to operate more effectively and more efficiently,” Mr. Abbott said in his announcement, as he was flanked by a row of armed National Guard members. The camp, Mr. Abbott added, “will amass a large army in a very strategic area.”

Mr. Abbott did not say on Friday how much money the state was spending to build the base, but added that the financial impact would be “minimal” in view of the state’s existing expenditures to house those deployed on the border.

The camp, which will include a 700-seat dining facility, a gym, a laundry and medical services, will save on hotel costs for the existing deployment. And it will presumably make way for additional states that are sending troops to help patrol the border as part of a widening rift between Republican governors and the federal government over border enforcement.

Mr. Abbott has been testing the legal limits of what states can do to enforce immigration law. Several of his Republican cohorts, including the governors of Florida and Georgia, have sent their own National Guard troops to help patrol the border in Texas, where record numbers of migrants have been crossing without authorization in recent years.

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