RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (ValleyCentral)- Governor Gregg Abbott held a press conference the morning of Dec. 18 debuting the first phase of construction of the Texas border wall in Rio Grande City.

State leaders watch as watch as construction crews add a panel of metal bollards to the border wall in Rio Grande City, Texas on Dec. 18.

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This showcase comes six months after Abbott announced that Texas would build its own border wall. In that same month of June, he authorized a transfer of $250 million as a down payment to launch construction.

Abbott then signed House Bill 9 into law which provided an additional $1.8 billion in state funding for border security, including border wall construction. He has also published a website that allows anyone in the world to provide private monetary donations to help build the wall.

Each piece of funding is not only going towards a wall that will prevent the “record-breaking” number of illegal crossings (1.2+ million apprehensions) the state of Texas has seen in 2021, but also put a stop to increasing numbers in drug trafficking such as Fentanyl.

According to Abbott, Texas has apprehended enough Fentanyl to “kill every man, woman, and child in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, and Florida combined.”

Families Against Fentanyl, a government agency reported on Dec. 15 that Fentanyl is the number one leading cause of death amongst Americans between the ages of 18 and 45 based on the organization’s findings through CDC.

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Abbott added that the continued construction of the border wall will also prevent human and sex traffickers from committing such a crime in the United States.

Although Abbott couldn’t give a definitive number on how much taxpayers are fronting the cost, he said that he will spend as much as it takes to build as much as he can. He went on to say that Texas taxpayers are “paying way more than they should” though.

Mission resident and border wall supporter, Dr. John Guerra told ValleyCentral that he loves the state of Texas and wants it to be the greatest state a part of the Union, so he is fully ready to pay however much it costs to do his part in putting up the border wall.

The wall is 30 feet tall and made out of metal bollards that were manufactured in McAllen.

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As of Dec. 18, the wall only stretches 800 feet but is expected to be 1.3 miles once completed.

This section is part of the 8 miles of border wall set to be built in Starr County.

Abbott said that border wall construction will move quickly as phase one has only taken five days so far, but a finish date has not been determined yet.