Don’t throw money at the border


Jorge Corona

Attorney General Greg Abbott pauses for applause at the pro-choice rally on the south steps of the Texas capitol on July 8, 2013. Abbott officially won the Republican gubernatorial primary on March 4 and will face off against state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

In an effort to combat the problem of illegal immigration, Attorney General Greg Abbott has proposed a band-aid solution. On Thursday, the gubernatorial hopeful, who proudly boasts that he has sued the federal government 29 times, made a request to the federal government for emergency funds of $30 million in order to bolster manpower along the U.S.-Mexico border. Among his reasons for soliciting aid was a recent surge of undocumented minors coming across the border. Rhetoric regarding undocumented immigrants of all ages has been quite strident among GOP candidates as the election draws nearer. But Abbott’s request, if granted, will not resolve the issue of illegal immigration.

Among the many issues behind controlling the influx of undocumented immigrants whom Abbott referenced in a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, the lack of transparency in the border protection system begs the question — How are border security funds being used? Despite a lack of criteria that measure success and failure of border patrol efforts, less than 3 percent of funding, which includes over $100 million for the biennium, was determined to have been helpful last year in increased apprehensions of undocumented immigrants and drug seizures.

If Abbott wants to secure the border, he should request that the Legislature and the Department of Public Safety address internal problems concerning the current use of tax dollars instead of asking for federal money to contribute to a $300 million border security proposal, which he has said was supposed to be supported by state funds. Maybe then we can bring the situation in the borderlands under control.