Texas will spend nearly $3 billion securing the border in the 2022-2023 biennium, more than three and a half times what it spent just five years ago, for what is primarily a federal responsibility. It is an effort that saps the resources of multiple state agencies and departments that “Texas never should have had to pay for,” according to newly published research by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The paper, “Texas Border Security Panorama,” is an exhaustive account of nearly everything that goes into securing the southern border and enforcing immigration laws at the state, federal and local level. It covers the two critical issues that are driving the current border crisis – human smuggling and drug trafficking – that are being almost totally ignored by the Biden Administration.
“Successful border security for Texas will both deter migrants from unlawful entry and impede criminal drug cartel operations,” the authors Selene Rodriguez and Rodney Scott write. “Achieving this goal requires proactive federal and state cooperation. While strengthening the effectiveness of Texas’ own border security system, state officials can and should continue to hold the federal government accountable for the protection of all the states of the Union. As long as Texas has an unsecure border, every state is a border state.”
Rodney Scott is a Senior Distinguished Fellow for Border Security and a retired Chief of the United States Border Patrol. Selene Rodriguez is a Policy Analyst for TPPF’s Right on Immigration campaign.
“Border security and immigration enforcement are primarily—but not exclusively—the responsibility of the United States federal government,” they write. “However, regardless of what the federal government chooses to do at the border, states and local communities should take every lawful step possible to keep their citizens safe and uphold their respective constitutional obligations. As Texans know all too well, public safety, health, education, and related costs that accompany a poorly controlled border have immediate negative impacts on state and local governments.”
Scott and Rodriguez conclude: “If the Texas–Mexico border is not secure, the entire country is exposed to an enormous national security risk.”