DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will host former President Donald Trump at the southern border June 30 as he drums up support for a privately funded wall, according to a statement from Trump.
“What Biden and Harris have done, and are continuing to do on our border, is a grave and willful dereliction of duty,” Trump’s statement said.
Abbott also said he’s working on a website where people could contribute to his push to build a border wall with Mexico on a podcast that debuted Tuesday.
“When I do make the announcement later on this week, I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to for everybody in the United States — or really, everybody in the entire world — who wants to help Texas build a border wall,” he said. “There will be a place there where they can contribute to Texas building the border wall.”
Crowdfunding the wall is not a new idea, but it’s one Trump once scoffed at, calling it “too complex… too big.”
In one of his final acts in office, Trump pardoned his former adviser, Steve Bannon, who was charged with defrauding donors into giving more than $25 million to build fencing along south Texas.
Abbott’s new efforts were met with questions from critics and legal experts.
“When you’re dealing with issues of crossing between borders, that’s a federal issue,” attorney Ricardo Barrera said.
The National Butterfly Center has criticized the border wall because it would disturb plants and wildlife on its property. The center’s executive director, Marianna Wright, called the idea that Texas would go it alone “political theater.”
But Texas ranch owner John Paul Schuster says the project is important. “I don’t ask a lot of the government,” he said. “I work hard, we work hard and pay our taxes, that’s justifiable, but we need help.”
One day after Abbott made his border wall announcement, the White House reiterated its directive to end construction of the border wall. It’s calling on Congress to cancel funds it had allotted to the project and redirect them toward other border needs.