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Texas Border Security Surge Is Combating Criminal Activity, Official Says

KUT News
Posters on Texas-Mexico border operations were displayed at the Texas State Capitol this week.

The Department of Public Safety says the number of people crossing the Texas-Mexico border has fallen dramatically since DPS expanded its operations there earlier this year.

Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a panel of House lawmakers that monthly apprehensions have dropped by about 25,000 people between June and now.

"Clearly we’ve had an impact," McCraw said. "There’s no question we’ve had an impact in the Rio Grande Valley."

He says one challenge, however, is that Mexican cartels have unlimited resources.

"Everyday around the clock we’re being surveilled in the hotels, restaurants, on the river, off the river, at airports -- even at our observation posts," McCraw added.

Meanwhile, the Texas National Guard’s deployment is set to end in March. Those troops will be replaced by 4,000 cameras.

So far, the DPS surge has cost the state $25 million since it began in late June. Earlier this week, lawmakers approved another $86 million to keep the state-funded buildup in place through August.

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