Abbott to request that feds reimburse Texas for immigration crisis


By Brianna Kraemer

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday asked counties to report their calculated fiscal burdens associated with the immigration crisis on the southern border so that the state can send a reimbursement request to the federal government.

Abbott said in a statement that border security is a responsibility of the federal government and the current crisis on the southern border is a direct result of federal policies, therefore state and local governments should be paid back for any costs they've incurred.

"Securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, but the current crisis has placed a costly burden on the State of Texas and on our local governments,"  Abbott said. "I have heard from many counties about the challenges they are facing from the surge in illegal border crossings. Several counties have declared local disasters. Other counties have been working around the clock in response to the federal government opening migrant facilities in their counties."

Under Abbott's request, county judges across the state are asked to send an estimate of costs incurred and expected in response to the surge in illegal crossings. 

“The current crisis has placed a costly burden on the State of Texas and on our local governments. I strongly believe that your county, our state, and our fellow Texans should not be forced to shoulder these costs, and that the federal government should reimburse us in full,” the letter written to county judges reads. 

The state has filed eight lawsuits against the federal government since President Joe Biden’s inauguration regarding immigration and executive orders impacting the oil and gas industry. The most recent suit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week in conjunction with nine other states against the Biden administration's executive order requiring federal agencies to measure the “social costs” emissions.

Paxton has estimated that Texans spend more than $850 million each year on illegal immigration, and the recent surge could cause those costs to rise to over $1 billion.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection counted 172,000 illegal immigrant crossings in March, burdening state taxpayers with hefty costs for housing, food, transportation and health care.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said they are witnessing “the biggest surge that we’ve ever seen in the history of the Border Patrol.”

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