By Bethany Blankley
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking help for sheriffs at the U.S.-Mexico border inundated with crime resulting from illegal immigration. He’s also asked county judges to fill out their two-year budget projections by July 9. Their projections will be used by the state legislature in the upcoming special session to allocate more money toward border security.
Abbott has asked jailers across the state to assist border sheriffs with operating detention facilities and providing jail beds for those arrested for state charges related to the influx of immigrants illegally crossing the border into Texas. The state is seeking jailers with supervisory and release experience, trained booking officers with TLETS/AFIS experience, and current or former jailers who were honorably discharged within the last two years.
Interested sheriffs and jailers are encouraged to contact the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to apply at TCOLE@soc.texas.gov.
"The state of Texas will not tolerate criminal activity, which is why we are stepping up to address this crisis in the Biden Administration's absence," Abbott said in a statement. "Part of our comprehensive efforts to secure the border include enforcing all state and federal laws, which is why we are calling on jailers and sheriffs across the state to volunteer support for our border sheriffs. Working together, we will secure the border and keep our communities safe."
During the governors’ recent border summit in Del Rio, he announced that individuals who commit criminal trespass will be subject to arrest and confinement. The disaster declaration he issued May 31 directs the Department of Public Safety to enforce all federal and state criminal laws for criminal trespassing, illegal entry, smuggling, and human trafficking. It also directs the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to work with counties to establish alternative detention facilities.
Last week, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice began moving 1,000 prisoners from the Briscoe Unit in Dilley to make room for individuals arrested for entering the U.S. and Texas illegally. The Briscoe unit will serve as a central holding facility for non-TDCJ detainees who have been arrested and charged with a state offense as part of Operation Lonestar.
The governor also urged county judges to submit their two-year projected budget for expenses related to the ongoing border crisis at www.borderbudget.texas.gov. They have until July 9 to do so.
They can submit their forecasts through an online Border Budget Forecast Form. The State Operations Center is providing a unique passcode for each county judge to submit their projections through the website. The submitted projections will be used by the legislature during the upcoming special session to allocate additional resources.
"As the Biden Administration continues to ignore the crisis at the border, the State of Texas is stepping in to ensure our counties have the resources and support they need to keep their communities safe," Abbott said. "I urge County Judges to fill out the Border Budget Forecast Form by July 9th to ensure the state of Texas has the information needed to secure additional funding to combat the ongoing crisis at our southern border."