EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Miles of concertina wire can be seen along the southern border between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico.
It was put up by the Texas National Guard, which was sent to the border under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star in December 2022.
But federal officials say the state does not have the proper permits to install the barriers, as reported by the El Paso Times.
In a statement to KTSM, the United States International Boundary and Water Commission said a request has been made to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is leading the border security initiative, to submit the information that is required for permitting licensing.
“The USIBWC reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety and requested that they submit information for USIBWC review to go through our permitting/licensing process for infrastructure placed on USIBWC-controlled lands. They submitted information to us in December but have not responded to our request for additional material that we require,” said Leslie Grijalva USIBWC spokeswoman.
The statement added that the communication is ongoing.
“We have been in communication with the various agencies with a presence at the border regarding permitting requirements for any infrastructure that may have been placed in or proposed for placement in the USIBWC right-of-way,” Grijalva said.
However, Abbott said the state of Texas is not asking the feds for permission when securing the border.
“We aren’t asking for permission,” Abbott said in a tweet that included the Times article. “Instead we are doing the federal government’s job to secure the border. The Texas National Guard is taking the lead to uphold U.S. laws by establishing more than 60 miles of concertina wire barrier along the border.”
KTSM 9 News reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety but was directed to contact the Texas Military Department, which responded by email saying that the Texas National Guard does not negotiate land-use agreements.
“The Texas National Guard is not the agency that negotiates land-use agreements; therefore, we are not able to discuss,” an email from the Texas Military Department Public Affairs Office said.