Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has laid out a staggering $4 billion for a border mission created last year, making his state the biggest spender on border security.

An additional $875 million in “emergency funds” was added to the budget for Operation Lone Star, which began in March 2021.

The money mostly covers pay for about 5,000 Texas National Guard Troops and hundreds of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers patrolling the border, the Texas Tribune reported.

Millions is also spent to bus migrants from Texas border towns like Del Rio and Laredo to New York City, Washington, DC, and Chicago. Texas has disbursed at least $12 million to bus asylum seekers from border towns to sanctuary cities like New York, the state told the media outlet in August.

Venezuelans fleeing a dictatorship in their homeland and arriving at the US-Mexico border helped fuel the border crisis. Above, Venezuelans expelled from the US to Mexico set up a tent camp across the river from El Paso, Texas.
Venezuelans fleeing a dictatorship in their homeland and arriving at the US-Mexico border helped fuel the border crisis. Above, Venezuelans expelled from the US to Mexico set up a tent camp across the river from El Paso, Texas.
AFP via Getty Images

Texas’ Republican governor has repeatedly asserted the state is forced to spend the money in the absence of a federal immigration solution — a stance echoed by local lawmakers who signed off on using $875 million from the Texas prison system to spend on the border instead.

“Because the federal government has completely neglected this emergency, imagine how unsafe communities across the country would be had Texas not stepped up to provide its full support,” said Republican state Sen. Joan Huffman, chair of the chamber’s finance committee.

So many immigrants have crossed into Texas in recent weeks, that the US Border Patrol was forced to create a makeshift, outdoor processing center under a highway in El Paso to keep up with the surge.
So many immigrants have crossed into Texas in recent weeks, that the US Border Patrol was forced to create a makeshift, outdoor processing center under a highway in El Paso to keep up with the surge.
Instagram / @usbpchiefept

In the last two years, the number of immigrants arriving at the border has skyrocketed, with a record-shattering 2.4 million crossing the US-Mexico border this year.

The border state went from spending $110 million for border security in 2008-2009 to $3 billion this year alone, according to ProPublica.

Texas' spending on border security has soared, particularly in the last two years since the governor created a border security program called "Operation Lone Star," according to data complied by Propublica and the Texas Tribune.
Texas’ spending on border security has soared, particularly in the last two years since the governor created a border security program called Operation Lone Star, according to data complied by Propublica and the Texas Tribune.

“As the crisis at our border continues, it is critical that the legislature continues to fund Operation Lone Star as the flow of illegal immigrants, weapons, and drugs has hit unprecedented levels,” Huffman said in a press release.

Texas cities like El Paso have also been forced to create a budget for the migrant surge. The west Texas city has spent more than $8 million dollars of its own money to house asylum seekers and bus them to the Big Apple to prevent its own shelter system from collapsing.

The City of El Paso, Texas has spent millions of dollars from its own budget as it saw migrants pouring into the city in the last few months. At its peak, 2,100 migrants were arriving in the border city and shelters ran out of space for them. Some migrants were forced to sleep on the streets of downtown El Paso--something the local leaders called "the worst case scenario."
The City of El Paso, Texas,has spent millions of dollars from its own budget as it saw migrants pouring into the city in the last few months. At its peak, 2,100 migrants were arriving in the border city and shelters ran out of space for them. Some migrants were forced to sleep on the streets of downtown El Paso–something the local leaders called “the worst case scenario.”
KFOX-TV

But it’s unclear if the millions Texas is spending on border security is having an impact. Since Operation Lone Star was announced, the state has seen between 89,000 and 140,000 immigrants cross into Texas illegally every month, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.



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