Patrick Signs Letter Asking Congress to Reimburse Texas for Border Security Costs

July 9, 2014

To Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation:

In light of the ongoing border crisis and Texas’ extraordinary law enforcement efforts, and following President Obama’s request for a $3.7 billion emergency supplemental appropriation to support a sustained border security surge, we write to you with an urgent request, which is necessitated by the federal government’s neglect of its constitutional duty to police our international border.

We respectfully ask that you reimburse Texas for the full cost of our border security law enforcement surge, whether you grant the President’s emergency supplement appropriations request or not. Where the federal government has failed to secure our state’s international border, Texas has risen to the task by authorizing a border security operations surge, thanks to actions undertaken by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which is charged with leading the border security operation, estimates that the cost of this surge will be $1.3 million per week.

We specifically request $68 million dollars for 52 weeks of border security surge funding, and we ask that this money be available to DPS for border security law enforcement purposes without further restrictions.

On July 8, President Obama formally asked Congress for a $3.7 billion emergency supplemental appropriation to stem the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. The President’s July 8 letter notes that one purpose of the requested emergency supplemental appropriation is to “support a sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement.” Texas DPS has been extremely effective at this very type of mission in the past, and this is exactly what Texas leadership authorized on June 18.

We note that a border security surge is only one of President Obama’s stated goals for the emergency supplemental appropriation, although our reimbursement request would amount to a reasonable 1.8 percent of the total appropriation requested by the President.

As Texas has borne the brunt of this wave of people crossing illegally, and as we have already authorized decisive action that is nearly identical to one of the President’s goals, reimbursing Texas for our ongoing and extraordinary border security efforts is sensible, prudent, and just. These are costs that the federal government should bear, whether or not you pass the emergency supplemental appropriation requested by President Obama.

Thank you for your attention to this reimbursement request, and for your service to the United States of America and Texas.