Gov. Abbott toured southern Texas border, held news conference on border security

Gov. Greg Abbott holds roundtable with local law enforcement in San Antonio

EAGLE PASS, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference in Eagle Pass, near the Texas-Mexico border, to discuss border security efforts on Monday.

In a news release, Abbott will participate in an aerial tour of the southern border with officials from the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Gov. Abbott said Friday he is moving another $500 million to fund Operation Lone Star, his border security initiative at the Texas-Mexico border. The move comes three weeks after state military officials said the multibillion-dollar operation was in need of an infusion of cash to keep it afloat through the end of the fiscal year.

Abbott said the money would be taken from the budgets of other Texas agencies, including nearly $210 million from the state’s Health and Human Services Commission over two years and about $160 million from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Department of State Health Services and Juvenile Justice Department will each see tens of millions of dollars taken from their budgets to fund the border mission, Abbott said.

In a letter to the agencies, Abbott said that “this transfer will not affect any agency or program function.” The governor’s office did not answer whether the agencies would be reimbursed later or would see budget cuts, and instead referred questions back to Abbott’s original announcement.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.