Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Thursday said he is considering a lawsuit against the federal government over the costs associated with housing thousands of immigrant children detained on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The State of Texas is exploring any and all options, including litigation, to address the crisis our federal government has created by not living up to their Constitutional responsibility,” Attorney General spokesman Jerry Strickland said. “If the federal government is unwilling to secure the border, the State of Texas will be forced to resort to litigation to recoup the costs incurred to respond to this crisis.”
Thousands of unaccompanied minors have crossed the nation’s southern border this year, many fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, overwhelming federal facilities to house them as they await immigration hearings.
State leaders last month authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety to spend an $1.3 million to combat crime and human trafficking along the border.
Abbott’s comments about suing the federal government came the same day Gov. Rick Perry appeared before a congressional panel in McAllen to discuss the issue. Perry reiterated his call for Congress to recoup the $500 million he says the state of Texas has spent on border security since 2005. He also asked the feds for an increase in the number of Texas National Guard units in the area and comprehensive health screenings for any detained immigrant child released into Texas communities to await court dates.