Gov. Abbott asks Texas counties for financial impact of border ‘crisis’

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Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to several county judges across the state of Texas, asking them to send the Governor’s office an estimate of the fiscal impact of what he calls is border crisis taking place in the Southern Border.

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According to a news release, the Governor, will use the information to formally request that the federal government pay in full for these costs borne by state and local governments.

The Governor added that the efforts of county judges can be provided if their Commissioner Courts adopt a resolution supporting the State of Texas’ request for federal reimbursement.

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“Securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, but the current crisis has placed a costly burden on the State of Texas and on our local governments,” said Governor Abbott. “I have heard from many counties about the challenges they are facing from the surge in illegal border crossings. Several counties have declared local disasters. Other counties have been working around the clock in response to the federal government opening migrant facilities in their counties. I strongly believe that your county, our state, and our fellow Texans should not be forced to shoulder these costs and that the federal government should reimburse us in full.”

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As of Monday, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said that the county itself has not encountered too many expenses, other than COVID-19 related costs.

Cortez told KVEO that he has asked attorneys to investigate and clarify what the governor meant by “counties” in his letter, whether it meant the municipalities within the county or the county itself.

According to Cortez, the county has spent a rough estimate of $10,000, but more information is still pending from the budget officer.

However, the municipalities in Hidalgo County, such as McAllen, have had higher expenses, according to Cortez.

Cortez said that in his opinion, the federal government has failed the county.

“I think they should study the immigration needs for the United States, and come up with a comprehensive program, give them a quick and fast way to become citizens, for those immigrants that America needs,” he said.

Once Hidalgo County has all of the information and details needed, Cortez plans to comply with Abbott’s request.

KVEO reached out to Starr, Cameron and Willacy County judges and is waiting on a response.

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