Texas governor Greg Abbott on border tour with Scott Walker

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker tours Texas-Mexico border with Gov. Greg Abbott


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 27, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You don`t mess with Texas, so when people mess with your record on immigration, you head to Texas?

Well, Republican Governor Scott Walker touring the border today after an invitation from this guy, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Governor Abbott, good to have you.

Did you invite him, Governor? Explain how this all came about.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT, R - TX: The way it came about, Neil, is that I was at a governors conference in Washington, D.C., and at the time the governor mentioned that he would like to see the border.

And I said I`d be happy to show it to him, because part of my goal is to educate officials around the entire country about the challenges that Texas is facing on the border, how we are incurring hundreds of millions of dollars of cost because the federal government has failed to do its job to secure our border.

CAVUTO: So, this wasn`t your way of saying, I like guy Walker, he`s my guy?

ABBOTT: Well, no, this was my way of working, as I`m constantly doing, to try to educate officials across the entire country.

I wish Barack Obama would come down here. He came down to Austin, Texas, but would not go all the way down to the border to see the challenges that his policies have created.

And what we were able to show to Scott Walker today is the way this cartel activity that crosses the border and penetrates into Texas goes all the way up to even Wisconsin. It cross-crosses the entire country. And this is a national issue that the federal government has a responsibility to address. And because they are failing to address it, Texas taxpayers are being put on the hook, now coming up with a budget item of about $700 million to $800 million for just the next two years.


You know, Governor, this comes at a time, maybe owing to the fact that Government Walker for the time being is the front-runner for the Republican nomination -- he and Jeb Bush go back and forth, as you know -- that his old immigration stance has been called in question.

He has been inconsistent. Do you think that that is a problem, that sometimes he talks about eventually getting everyone in this country who is here now to find a pathway to citizenship? Others can look at that and say, no, that`s amnesty. He dialed that back to say, no, no, no, that`s what I`m interested -- but you know the drill. You know how this goes.

Do you think he has been consistent on this issue?

ABBOTT: Well, look, I don`t know what all he has said in the past.

What I do know is that the more we get people down to the border, the more that this becomes less of an abstract concept, and the more they can realize the reality of it, the more they will see the first thing we have to do is to step up and secure our border. Everything else is a hypothetical.

CAVUTO: And what does that mean, Governor? When you say step up and secure our border, how many more personnel are you talking about? How do you police it? What?

ABBOTT: Under my plan that is in the legislature right now, we want to add 500 more Texas Department of Public Safety officers, more Texas Rangers, more funding for local law enforcement, more tools and technology.

One thing we were able to show is the way the use of modern cameras and technology can reveal cross-border activity and how that can be connected to law enforcement officers immediately that they can act on.

But this costs money. And we need the federal government to supply that money and supply the resources. Why is it that state of Texas officers have to be doing this job? This is the job of the federal Border Patrol. And so I`m looking for a president who is going to stand up and defend our Constitution, defend our sovereignty and secure our border from this ongoing threat.

CAVUTO: Your predecessor, Rick Perry, had the same issue when I think he sent 3,000 Guardsmen to the border, arguing that would be something that Washington should pay. As far as I know, sir, that never happened.

So, are you going to have any luck making this argument with this president, especially given executive orders that continue to delay deportation after deportation?

ABBOTT: Well, for one, we are working with a new Congress now.

And I have worked with Congressman McCaul, who is working with us to try to get Texas reimbursed for the National Guard expense, as well as other expenses we are incurring.

CAVUTO: Are they still there, Governor? Are those 3,000 still there?

ABBOTT: Well, there was initially up to 1,000, and there are several hundred remaining.


ABBOTT: And the only way we`re going to be able to pull the National Guard off the border is if we pass my plan to add additional state troopers to secure the border.


CAVUTO: I`m sorry, sir.

You are paying for those Guardsmen who are there now? Texas is.

ABBOTT: Yes. That`s coming out of the -- that`s coming out of the pocket of Texas taxpayers to fund a federal responsibility.

CAVUTO: Amazing. Amazing.

Greg Abbott, a pleasure having you, sir. Thank you very, very much.

ABBOTT: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

And, of course, this is an invite he`s had out to all the contenders. Come on down to the border. See for yourself what is going on.

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