House Republicans introduced legislation to reimburse Texas for its efforts in limiting illegal immigration at the southern border.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021 to combat rises in illegal immigration. The declaration directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to “use available resources to enforce all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking.”
The Lone Star Reimbursement Act, introduced by Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX), would “appropriate $4.4 billion from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security for FY 2024 for the state of Texas,” Fox News reported. The funds would cover Texas’ costs for its operation.
Operation Lone Star has been a critical tool in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, but we cannot do it by ourselves. This Administration should be stepping up.
Read more about the legislation I filed earlier today to make them do just that.
— Rep. Pat Fallon (@RepPatFallon) March 1, 2023
The legislation cites that the operation is responsible for seizing more than 360 million lethal doses of fentanyl and apprehending over 348,000 illegal immigrants.
“Unfortunately, Texas has been forced by this administration to go it alone when it comes to securing our border. Operation Lone Star has been a critical tool in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, but we cannot do it by ourselves,” Fallon said.
“Because border security is an issue that impacts the entire country, the federal government should reimburse the state of Texas for all costs of Operation Lone Star and finally work with us to secure the border,” he added.
In January 2023, Texas lawmakers wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to reimburse Texas and meet with the Texas delegation to discuss illegal immigration at the border. The White House responded by accusing Republicans of voting against federal border funding.
Republicans have blamed the ongoing border crisis on the Biden administration, citing its rollback of Trump-era policies they say were successful.
In his State of the Union address, Biden touted his administration’s efforts in combating illegal immigration and asked Congress to pass his “comprehensive immigration reform.”
“If you won’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border,” Biden said. “And a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers and essential workers.”
In 2020, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported more than 450,000 encounters with illegal immigrants at the border. In 2021, when Biden became president, there were 1.7 million encounters with migrants at the border.
Under the Biden administration, illegal immigration has soared to record highs.