Texas lawmakers may be looking to the federal government for funding a border security program they decided not to fund themselves.
The Texas Tribune reports
that despite Gov. Greg Abbott's efforts to prioritize a program to remove an invasive plant species from the border, it has not been funded.
Carrizo cane growth on the banks of the Rio Grande provides cover for dope smuggles, illegal border crossers, and cuts down line of sight for law officers, according to the report.
Abbott asked the Texas legislature for $9.8 million to fund wiping out the cane, but the money was not included in an $800 million package for border security enhancement.
The governor's office said it would use $190,000 in federal justice assistance grant money to fund cutting back the plant. That money will fund the cutting back of about 700 acres, according to the Tribune report, but tens of thousands more acres remain along the Rio Grande banks.
"Our estimates that people have given us is anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 acres of cane," natural resources policy analyst Aaron Wendt said in the report.
The Texas Border Coalition called on Texas and the federal government to work together on a more lasting solution, because the solution is not more guns.
"When you talk about giving line of sight to the Border Patrol, no gun can do that," Monica Weisberg-Stewart, of the group's immigration and border security subcommittee, said.
Even with the $9.8 million, the project is not yet ready to start.
"We're going to have to go out for a public bid for contractors to actually do the work," Wendt said.
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