The Texas Department of Public Safety has touted a new approach to border security in the Rio Grande Valley, including closer coordination with federal officials, a more proactive posture, and less attention to writing speeding tickets, reports the Dallas Morning News. An analysis by the newspaper of traffic stops in border counties paints a more complicated picture, again raising questions about the efficacy of the massive border boost. The agency is writing as many citations there as ever, with two border counties in September accounting for nearly 8 percent of all tickets in Texas.
The department is asking in the next two-year budget for an unprecedented $1.1 billion in border security funding. The election of Donald Trump, who campaigned on a hawkish border stance, has some top officials wondering if Texas will still need such a robust state force. Critics continue to charge that the state remains unable to prove real success at the border beyond boosting traffic enforcement. “For that level of scrutiny on your driving habits, what are we getting?” said Rep. Poncho Nevarez, vice chairman of the Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.