Texas approves $495 million transfer to border security operation

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Source: Washington Examiner, By Misty Severi, April 29, 2022

Texas leadership approved an additional $495 million for Operation Lone Star, the majority of which will fund the Texas National Guard deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The new funds will be reallocated from other state agencies, including the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of Public Safety, said a letter to agency heads Friday that was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and some members of the state legislature.

“Texas will not sit on the sidelines as President Biden continues turning a blind eye to the crisis at our southern border,” Abbott said in a press release. “Texans’ safety and security is our top priority, and we will continue fighting to keep our communities safe. This additional funding ensures the Lone Star State is fully equipped to provide Texans the border security strategy they demand and deserve.”

The funding will go toward implementing border security initiatives such as boat blockades, razor wire at border crossings, and charter buses transporting migrants from Texas to Washington, D.C.

Abbott added that the transfer of funds from the other agencies will not affect the function of any agency or program, though it was unclear whether the agencies will be reimbursed. The new funds were broken into two different payments: $463 million to be used for the deployment of the Texas National Guard and the other $30 million for building the state’s border wall.

Democrats were dismayed by the announcement.

“Abbott continues to play political theater along the southern border and endanger the livelihoods of servicemen and servicewomen. His actions are not only reckless, but they’re also nearly criminal. At this point he has spent nearly three billion dollars of taxpayer money to sustain his antics while everyday Texans continue to struggle-he has turned his back on his constituents and become beholden to big oil and corruption,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.

The governor said he has secured $4 billion in funding for Texas’s border security efforts, which includes Abbott signing a $1.8 billion border security bill last year.

Abbott also said his administration is taking “aggressive” action to fight the Biden administration’s efforts to end Title 42. A federal judge issued a restraining order Wednesday that temporarily blocks the Biden administration from ending the Trump-era policy that expedited the removal of immigrants at the border due to the pandemic.

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