Texas leaders redirect nearly $500 million to fund border security initiative

Almost $500 million in additional funding has been approved by Texas state leadership for Operation Lone Star and other border operations.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman and House Appropriations Committee Chair Greg Bonnen approved the transfer of $495.3 million from general revenue funds to address immediate border security needs while possible future funding continues to be evaluated. 

"Texas will not sit on the sidelines as President Biden continues turning a blind eye to the crisis at our southern border," said Governor Abbott. "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 majority of those funds, $465.3 million, will be used to support the deployment of the Texas National Guard. The other $30 million will be used to support border operations in other state agencies, says a joint approval letter signed by Abbott, Patrick, Phelan, Huffman and Bonnen.

This additional funding comes after Abbott announced new directives as part of the state's border security efforts in early April.

"As the border crisis continues and the Biden Administration considers repealing Title 42, millions of people are entering our country," said Lieutenant Governor Patrick. "Their failure to secure the southern border means that Texas must use our tax dollars to step into the breach."

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, multi-agency efforts have led to more than 239,849 migrant apprehensions, along with more than 14,364 criminal arrests — and more than 11,666 felony charges. Over 4,710 weapons and almost $37 million in currency have been seized. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 342 million lethal doses throughout the state.

"The Biden administration’s approach to our southern border is nothing short of irresponsible,” said Speaker Phelan. "As the humanitarian and security costs of this crisis continue to escalate, Texas is once again put in the position of doing the job the federal government refuses to do."

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