Border Security
1:48 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Abbott Preparing Federal Lawsuit To Recoup State Border Security Expenses

Greg Abbott (left) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz toured the Lackland facilities holding unaccompanied minors on June 23.
Greg Abbott (left) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz toured the Lackland facilities holding unaccompanied minors on June 23.
Credit Joey Palacios / TPR News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the total bill for state-provided border security could run upwards of $50 million. Abbott is gathering this information for a federal lawsuit to recoup those expenses.

Abbott said $50 million is an early estimate that his office is using to weigh a possible legal challenge against the Obama administration should the president refuse to reimburse Texas.

"He has come out to announce he wants to provide funding to try to address this problem, but stunningly this funding does not include anything to reimburse the state of Texas for our out-of-pocket costs,” Abbott said.

Abbott’s office is looking to recoup the state’s expenses beyond the $1.3 million per week that state leaders approved, which sent additional state troopers to the Rio Grande Valley for additional border security. By the end of 2014 that effort is expected to cost the state of Texas $35 million. 

Abbott said his first move is to get an accurate picture, so he has asked state agencies to provide a cost estimate on how much the state of Texas has been spending on items related to illegal immigration since June of 2012.

"So one thing, I think, that needs to be done is for Texas to tally the cost that we have incurred and then send that bill to Washington, D.C., to make sure it’s not Texas taxpayers that are footing this bill,” Abbott said.

In his letter, Abbott asked state agencies to respond with it’s documentation by August 1.