Texas counties that requested border crisis aid months ago getting relief

By Bethany Blankley 

In addition to $3 billion allocated this year by the Texas Legislature and $5 million in federal grants to fund law enforcement efforts at the southern border, Operation Lonestar is also receiving $36.4 million in state grants.

Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lonestar March 6, directing state and local law enforcement efforts to the southern border to address a surge of illegal trafficking of people and drugs in response to Biden administration's open border policies.

The additional $36.4 million in Texas Public Safety Office grants are funded through the FY22-23 General Appropriation Act and supplemental appropriations to House Bill 9, passed by the state legislature.

The funds will assist local law enforcement, prosecutors, jail administrators, medical examiners, and court administration officials in border security operations.

"Operation Lone Star is critical to our efforts to secure the border, and we will continue to invest in this operation in order to keep Texans safe," Abbott said in a statement. "The grant funding provided through House Bill 9 ensures that our local partners along the border have the resources and support they need to respond to the border crisis."

Among the grants are 30 totaling $22.3 million to help fund prosecutorial efforts related to border crimes, specifically funding resources to help district and county attorneys in border counties.

Counties located adjacent to border counties will receive 12 grants totaling $14 million. The funds will enhance interagency border security operations supporting Operation Lonestar, including the facilitation of directed actions to deter and interdict criminal activity and detain and prosecute individuals arrested for state crimes related to the border crisis.

An initial round of funding was also awarded to counties that issued local disaster declarations due to the imminent threat of disaster resulting from illegal immigration. The counties that declared disaster declarations beginning in April and have been asking for help for months, finally received it.

They include:

Brewster County: $926,771
Culberson County: $424,518
Dimmit County: $370,973
Hudspeth County: $1,071,362
Jeff Davis County: $235,280
Kinney County: $3,185,272
Maverick County: $1,578,743
Presidio County: $822,721
Terrell County: $339,851
Val Verde County: $2,843,994
Webb County: $1,676,618
Zapata County: $523,894

The Texas Border Sheriff Coalition was also awarded a $100,000 grant to provide training, technical assistance, and coordination of multi-jurisdictional planning activities to sheriffs participating in Operation Lone Star.

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