For years, former Governor of Texas Rick Perry and current Governor Gregg Abbott constantly requested that the Federal government do its job and help them secure the border. Their requests were ignored, so the state invested hundreds of millions of their own budget into securing the more than 1,250-mile border, complete with 28 international bridges and border crossings, it shares with Mexico.
However, the Trump administration finally allocated $2.3 million this week to the Texas Military Department in order to save a special operation on the border, dubbed “Operation Secure Texas.” The department had its funding eliminated in the latest Texas state budget.
Governor Abbott praised the move in a press release, saying, “The taxpayers of Texas have funded border security, a federal responsibility, for far too long.” With the allocation, he added that the Texas National Guard units included in the operation will “transition to federal orders.”
Despite this positive development, the State of Texas still spends over $400 million per year on border security, primarily through their own department of public safety. Considering that managing national borders is a federal issue, the $2.3 million grant amounts to barely more than 0.5 percent of the total reimbursement that the State of Texas should receive for doing the federal government’s job. However, if the Trump administration doesn’t want to send Texas half a billion dollars every year, building an improved border barrier, staffing it adequately and removing the incentives for illegal immigration would certainly lower that annual cost.