Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation praised the Texas Legislature for passing a historic boost to state border security funding, while lamenting the fact that it was necessary due to the federal government’s catastrophic failure to secure the border.
“The Legislature has stepped up to provide much-needed resources to address the crisis at our southern border,” said TPPF’s CEO Kevin Roberts. “After President Biden’s disastrous reversal of proven security measures, the border has been overrun for months, allowing an unprecedented amount of human and drug trafficking to take place. Texans can’t sit idly by and watch the situation continue to deteriorate and put our communities at risk.”
“But it is important to note that Texas taxpayers shouldn’t have to be paying for this because securing the border is a core federal responsibility,” Roberts added. “It is gross negligence by the Biden Administration that has forced the Legislature’s hand. In the face of a federal government that has shirked its responsibility, Texas must do everything within its power to protect public safety and uphold the rule of law,”
The largest portion of the $1.8 billion in emergency spending, $750 million, will go towards border wall construction, which was previously a completely federal project. The $750 million is in addition to the already $250 million in funds Gov. Greg Abbott dedicated to construction earlier this summer, making for a total of $1 billion for the project.
More than 100 property owners along the Texas-Mexico border have already requested the temporary and permanent fencing that the Texas National Guard will now build. The emergency funding to deal with the historic border crisis also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funds to beef up detention and court capacity to serve as a deterrent, especially to the thousands upon thousands of single males entering the country without authorization. The U.S. Border Patrol is preoccupied with processing family units and unaccompanied minors. Those caught for criminal trespassing by Texas National Guard and Department of Public Safety law enforcement officers, and subsequently prosecuted, are being handed over to ICE for repatriation. Also, $100 million is set aside for grants to local law enforcement to reimburse some of their crisis-related expenses.
The TPPF-led Border Security Coalition will study the effectiveness of the state’s border security actions as they take place, as well as continue to make additional related policy recommendations.