Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday, Sept. 17, signed the state’s House Bill 9 into law, which will provide an additional $1.8 billion in state funding for border security over the next two years.
“Our border crisis goes beyond the Rio Grande Valley and our South Texas communities—the smuggling of drugs, people, and weapons reaches far and wide throughout our state, and it affects all of us,” Abbott said in a statement.
“That is why border security funding is crucial to our efforts to keep the entire state of Texas safe and secure,” he said, adding that the funding will provide the state’s agency partners with even more support to address the influx of unlawful migrants and prevent dangerous people and contraband from entering Texas.
Abbott vowed to continue to work tirelessly to secure the state’s border and protect the people of Texas.
The new law includes:
- $32.5 million to the Office of Court Administration for court costs;
- $301.0 million to the Texas Military Department for additional personnel;
- $154.8 million to the Department of Public Safety for Operation Lone Star surge costs, replacement tactical marine units, and additional intelligence personnel;
- $273.7 million to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for increased corrections costs;
- $214,785 to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards for employee overtime and travel costs.
- $1.02 billion for barrier construction, local grants, and establishing processing centers;
- $3.75 million for Border Prosecution Unit funding;
- $16.4 million to the Texas Department of State Health Services for contracted ambulance services.
According to American News Network (OAN), the $1.8 billion bill nearly triples what Texas has already spent on border security.
OAN cited Abbott as saying that his hands were tied in making the decision due to the Biden administration’s failure to follow through on its duties.
“It’s the federal government’s job to secure our border, but the Biden administration has failed to do its job. So, Texas is stepping up and doing what the federal government is supposed to do,” the Republican governor said.
Abbott made border security funding a priority for the first and second special legislative sessions. In early March, the governor launched Operation Lone Star to help secure the border and combat the smuggling of people and drugs in Texas.
The new law comes as thousands of migrants are currently seeking to cross the border in Del Rio, Texas to enter the United States.
Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin reports from Del Rio on Saturday that hundreds of migrants are seen crossing the border into Texas, with many of them originally coming from Haiti.
“This situation has completely spiraled out of control,” Melugin said, explaining that he was there for two days and the “crisis” became significantly worse.