Texas Department of Public Safety Increases Border Presence
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is near reaching its goal of sending an additional 250 state troopers to the state’s southern border in 2016 and expanding its presence in West Texas and the Big Bend region. By the end of this summer, DPS will have graduated 209 new recruits from its training academy to serve as border troopers. Last year’s House Bill 11 mandated the agency to expand patrolling near the state’s Mexico border to compensate for the lack action taken by the Obama Administration to contain the surge of unaccompanied illegal alien minors (UAMs) and family units into the country, primarily through Texas. HB 11 allotted $800 million of the 2016 state budget toward border security. The funding primarily provides additional manpower, technology, training, and equipment immediately needed to address growing concerns on the southern border.Texas Representative John Frullo (R-84) commented on Texas’ increasing responsibility earlier this year on KFYO/Talk 790. “We’re doing a job, at the state level, that the federal government is not doing. Unfortunately [we], as Texas citizens, are paying twice: Once to the federal government to do the job that they’re not doing, and then once where we’re putting that money into border security,” said Representative Frullo. The Obama Administration’s proactive dismantling of immigration enforcement nationwide has forced many states to take action to discourage illegal immigration to their regions. Notably, Texas and surrounding states have experienced an increase in crime, especially with regard to human and drug trafficking, as a result of the surge.The latest statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveal a significant increase in UAMs and family units crossing the southwest border in 2016. Alarmingly, UAMs and family unit apprehensions in the current fiscal year have eclipsed the numbers recorded at the same point in 2014. In that year, nearly 140,000 UAMs and family units surged across the border at record rates, overwhelming the federal government’s ability to respond. Currently, 70,684 UAMs and family units have been apprehended crossing the southwest border, compared to 62,621 at the same point in 2014 – an increase of 13 percent.
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