The elevated climate of border security sweeping the United States may result in Texas hiring as many as 250 more troopers under a Texas Department of Public Safety request.
In an article in March, The Statesman reported many state agencies are facing a potential cut in a climate of austerity.
Texas lawmakers are debating whether to reduce border security spending because the Trump administration is boosting U.S. Border Patrol and preparing to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has other ideas, according to The Statesman. It receives the bulk of the state’s existing border package worth $800,000 million. The agency was directed to hire 250 new troopers.
DPS Director Steve McCraw told lawmakers the department should not rely on the feds in the short-term. He said the federal government will take a considerable time to bolster staffing on the border.
McCraw said even when that happens the DPS requires much of the equipment and troopers for other enforcement purposes as the population of the state swells.
In recent years DPS has overseen a massive increase in manpower at the border with Mexico.
How The Texas Department of Public Safety Boosted the Border Patrol
A concerted border security campaign started in Texas in 2014. Former governor Rick Perry sent DPS troopers and Texas National Guard troops to the Mexican border. The move was a response to a new wave of Central American migrants fleeing violence in their home lands. Many were unaccompanied children.
The Texas legislature approved another $800 million the next year for border security spending. The bulk of the spending was shifted from the National Guard to the DPS.
A spending package last year gave the DPS $87 million to hire 250 new troopers and another $8.8 million to set up a new Texas Rangers company. It allocated $7.5 million for a new surveillance airplane and more than $142 million so as the DPS could move to a 10-hour workday to meet the increased demands.
The increase in border security has contributed to a climate in which undocumented immigrants are more likely to be apprehended. In January, President Donald Trump pledged to hire another 5,000 federal border officers.
The increases in manpower are likely to ramp up deportations. It remains to be seen if the courts can deal with another increase in workload.