Governor Abbott Announces Operation Lone Star Grant Program To Enhance Border Security Operations

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 9/21/2021, 1:58 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbott today announced the availability of $100 million in grant funding through the Operation Lone Star (OLS) Grant Program to enhance interagency border security operations supporting OLS, including the facilitation of directed actions to deter and interdict criminal activity and detain non-citizens arrested for state crimes related to the border crisis.

"The grant funding available through this program will strengthen our response to the crisis at the border and help keep our communities safe," said Governor Abbott. "I encourage local governments to apply for these funds to enhance our ongoing collaborative efforts to deter illegal immigration and prevent the smuggling of people, drugs, weapons, and other contraband into our state."

As part of the HB 9 appropriations bill signed on Friday, the OLS Grant Program will assist local law enforcement, jail administrators, medical examiners, and court administration officials in the execution of coordinated border security operations through:

*Supplementing law enforcement surge operations in support of OLS.

*Capacity expansion for detention operations associated with increased criminal activity due to surges in illegal migration.

*Supporting county medical examiner offices in the humane processing of the remains of undocumented migrants.

*Increasing capacity and expediency in the magistration and criminal trials of OLS defendants.

*Increasing capacity to provide indigent defense to OLS defendants.

The Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) is responsible for administering the OLS Grant Program. Local units of government that are interested in learning more about this program can view the funding announcement via https://egrants.gov.texas.gov/fundopp.aspx. Applicants can also contact PSO via egrants@gov.texas.gov or at 512-463-1919.

Governor Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in early March to help secure the border and combat the smuggling of people and drugs in Texas. There are currently thousands of state personnel, including DPS troopers, agents, and rangers, and National Guard soldiers who are engaged in the mission and working with local law enforcement. The Governor expanded the mission shortly after its launch to include anti-human trafficking efforts. Governor Abbott's plan to secure the border also includes the construction of a border wall, in addition to the use of strategic fencing and other barriers. A project manager for the initial stage of building the wall was announced September 16. On Friday, the Governor signed HB 9 which appropriated $1.8 billion to Texas border security efforts. Among other things, the funding will add more National Guard and additional resources to better secure the border.