Governor Greg Abbott announced that his Public Safety Office (PSO) will award an additional $38.4 million for law enforcement, jail operations, and court administration activities in direct support of Operation Lone Star (OLS). The Governor’s PSO has awarded $74.8 million in OLS funds to cities and counties in proximity to the Texas-Mexico border since the operation was launched in March 2021.
“From deterring illegal immigration, to preventing the smuggling of drugs and weapons, to curtailing human trafficking, the deployment of resources and personnel needed to arrest and jail criminals along the border is imperative to our comprehensive border security strategy under Operation Lone Star,” said Governor Abbott. “This additional funding will strengthen our response to the border crisis and ensure our law enforcement and local partners have the resources they need to keep our communities safe in the federal government’s absence.”
This additional funding includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- $19.5 million for specialized law enforcement equipment/supplies such as patrol vehicles, interoperable radios, surveillance equipment, bulletproof vests, thermal/night vision technology, as well as search and rescue equipment.
- $16 million for additional overtime, contract, and salaried peace officers, jailers, prosecutors, indigent defense counsel, and administrative court staff.
- $1.9 million for construction of regional emergency communication/radio towers, as well as additional capacity in county jail facilities.
- $800 thousand for travel costs associated with non-border counties providing law enforcement assistance to border disaster-declared counties, as well as specialized training for law enforcement and prosecution personnel.
The latest round of OLS funding joins a list of substantial investments that Governor Abbott’s PSO has directed towards Operation Lone Star, which includes:
- Border Prosecution: 31 awards totaling $22.3 million for projects that prosecute border crimes and provide prosecution resources for District and County Attorneys along the Texas-Mexico border and for counties that are significantly affected by border crime.
- Operation Lone Star Frontline (Border Adjacent) Counties: 12 awards totaling $14 million to enhance interagency border security operations supporting OLS, including the facilitation of directed actions to deter and interdict criminal activity, as well as detain and prosecute individuals arrested for state crimes related to the border crisis. This initial round of funding is directed to border adjacent counties that have issued local disaster declarations due to the imminent threat of disaster concerning border security.
- Texas Border Sheriff Coalition: 1 award totaling $100 thousand to provide training, technical assistance, and coordination of multi-jurisdictional planning activities to border sheriffs in support of Operation Lone Star.
Governor Abbott has taken significant action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction. Those actions include:
- Signing laws that provide $3 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers
- Creating a system to arrest and jail illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas
- Signing a budget authorization to build the border wall in Texas
- Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
- Signing 9 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
- Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
- Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
- Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
- Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico and Title 42 policies in Texas
- Building the Texas border wall to combat illegal immigration and stop the smuggling of drugs and people