Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law in Fort Worth on Friday that commits $2 billion for border security. That's in addition to the $1 billion previously appropriated by lawmakers.
"This is basically signing a multi-billion dollar check," Abbott joked before he picked up a series of pens and signed the document. "Texas is stepping up and doing what the federal government is supposed to do."
The money will pay for state troopers and national guard troops to help police the border. Abbott also is committed to building a border fence.
Democrats, like LULAC President Domingo Garcia, said it's a huge waste of money.
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"This is a Texas-sized whopper of BS coming from the governor's office," Garcia said. "The fact of the matter is the governor has zero jurisdiction over the border. That is a federal issue."
Garcia, a Democratic activist and former state representative, said Abbott is playing politics.
"Governor Abbott is using the immigrants, the refugees on the border, as political pinatas and scapegoats," Garcia said.
Sen. Jane Nelson, a Republican from Fort Worth who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said the spending is necessary.
"There's a lot of things I could do with that money," Nelson said. "We could put it towards education, all kinds of things. But if we can't protect our border, what are we all about?"
Earlier Friday, the governor visited Dallas to attend a small business roundtable hosted by Goldman Sachs.
The small business owners who are members of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community will discuss challenges like labor shortages, supply chain issues, access to capital, and the ongoing issues caused by COVID-19, Abbott's office said.
The bill signing took place at the Fort Worth Police Officers Association Headquarters. Abbott said he wanted to show border security is an issue that affects the entire state.