Texas governor building military ‘base camp’ in Eagle Pass near Mexico border

By Thomson Reuters Feb 16, 2024 | 1:17 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Republican governor of Texas on Friday announced plans to build a military “base camp” in the city of Eagle Pass near the U.S.-Mexico border as part of efforts to stop illegal immigration.

The facility – dubbed Forward Operating Base Eagle – will be an 80-acre complex along the banks of the Rio Grande and house up to 1,800 troops, with the ability to expand to 2,300, Governor Greg Abbott and state officials said at a press conference.

The move is part of a broader effort by Abbott to try to stop migrants from crossing the border illegally into Texas, including a makeshift barrier of shipping containers and concertina wire in a city-owned park in Eagle Pass.

The state intends to install more barriers north and south of the park, officials said on Friday.

U.S. immigration enforcement historically has been the responsibility of the federal government and Abbott’s moves to secure the border have triggered legal standoffs with U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration.

Biden, a Democrat, is seeking another four-year term in the Nov. 5 election, where he is likely to face off against Republican former President Donald Trump, an immigration hardliner.

Republicans fault Biden for record numbers of migrants trying to cross illegally. Biden says Republicans have failed to fund border security for political reasons.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Deepa Babington)