Flanked by armed National Guard members, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Friday plans to build a base housing up to 1,800 troops in Eagle Pass, close to the riverfront area where state leaders have been at loggerheads with the Biden administration over immigration enforcement.

The base, planned to house an initial 300 troops by April, is the latest effort by Abbott to curb border crossings into Texas under a mission dubbed Operation Lone Star that he began less than two months after President Biden was inaugurated. Plans for the base come as the country gears up for a presidential election and reckons with the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have illegally crossed the southern border in recent months.