Texas pulls $359.6 million out of prison system to continue funding Greg Abbott's border crackdown

So far, the Republican governor's Operation Lone Star has burned through $4 billion in funding.

Texas Gov. Abbott has made a hardline immigration policy a key part of his reelection campaign. - Courtesy Photo / Office of the Governor
Courtesy Photo / Office of the Governor
Texas Gov. Abbott has made a hardline immigration policy a key part of his reelection campaign.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's controversial border crackdown, Operation Lone Star, is  continuing to burn through cash, according to a Texas Tribune report.

Abbott and other GOP Texas leaders unveiled plans to siphon $359.6 million from the state's prison system to continue funding the program, which attempts to arrest border crossers for minor property crimes, the Tribune reports.

Operation Lone Star is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for alleged civil rights violations. Critics have blasted the program as a pricy political stunt that fits in with the hardline immigration stance at the center of Abbott's reelection campaign.

So far, Texas has burned through $4 billion to fund Operation Lone Star, which has dispatched thousands of Department of Public Safety personnel and Texas National Guard troops along the border. The new funding is expected to fuel the initiative for another 10 months, according to the Tribune.

The funding shift comes as Texas' prison system grapples with understaffing and escalating health care costs, the Tribune points out. Some of the state's biggest prisons had fewer than 40% of their officer positions last year, according to the news site.

This also isn't the first time Abbott and his allies have diverted funds from other agencies into Operation Lone Star. Earlier this year, they undertook a similar diversion from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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