Texas Cuts Aid to ‘Colonias' After Years of Offering Help

Texas' commitment to helping thousands of families who live along the Mexico border in ramshackle communities known as colonias is being questioned after lawmakers cut budgets and assistance programs.

Roughly a half-million people live in the villages known by the Spanish word for "colony." Some live in dilapidated trailers and cinderblock dwellings. Hundreds of the homes lack drinkable water or waste disposal.

Since the 1990s, Texas has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to improve the worst colonias and stop new ones from forming. But this year lawmakers did not renew a key water program, and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott eliminated a program that since 1999 has coordinated colonia projects.

Abbott's office says the program was redundant and that no other Texas governor has worked more with border communities.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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