Texas Spending $800 Million To Build Its Own Personal Border Army

The jokes about Texas seceding from the country are becoming a bit too real. Now the state, already stockpiling its own gold reserves and terrifying its residents by entertaining the idea that President Obama is on the verge of invading, will spent close to a billion dollars building a sophisticated, well-armed border militia with hundreds of full-time soldiers meant to wage war with immigrants illegally crossing the border into the United States. What could go wrong?

There was a lot of unease when former Governor Rick Perry purchased six bona fide gunboats, complete with side-mounted machine guns, to patrol the Rio Grande looking for families who may be trying to sneak into Texas. Since then, more weapons and bigger fences have been added to Texas, but newly elected Governor Greg Abbott seems to want to make Perry’s term in office look downright peaceful.

Abbott approved a Republican measure that will spend $800 million turning Texas’ border with Mexico into an all-out war zone. Texas, a state with the ugly distinction of “most uninsured residents in the country,” justifies spending that staggering around of money on weapons and soldiers because Republican lawmakers claim the Mexican gangs are this close to taking their violence and crime into the United States.

According to Talking Points Memo:

On Texas’ shopping list is a second $7.5 million high-altitude plane to scan the border, a new border crime data center, a 5,000-acre training facility for border law-enforcement agencies and grants for year-round helicopter flights. The state also wants to hire two dozen Texas Rangers to investigate public corruption along the border and 250 new state troopers as a down payment on a permanent force along the border.

However, Texas is doing this at a time when immigration is down precipitously. It may not be talked about much on Fox News, but illegal immigration is down by a huge margin in recent years. Even after the surge in child refugees arrived at the border looking for safety last summer, the United States is currently sitting in an illegal immigration low point.

“As the Department of Homeland Security continues to pour money into border security, evidence is emerging that illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades. The nation’s population of illegal immigrants, which more than tripled, to 12.2 million, between 1990 and 2007, has dropped by about 1 million, according to demographers at the Pew Research Center.”

So Texas is spending hundreds of millions and arming itself to the teeth at exactly the wrong time.

Of course, there may be other reasons Texas wants more military hardware and state troops – the paranoia and anti-federal government hostility that has, by all accounts, hit the conservative mainstream in Texas. Actor and famous Texan Chuck Norris infamously penned an article suggesting the idea that President Obama would invade Texas to confiscate the guns of patriots wasn’t hard to believe.

The Texas governor, who should know better, even reassured terrified Texans that he had ordered his state’s military to “monitor” the U.S. troops conducting military exercises in Texas just in case they try to secretly takeover Texas… a state they already technically control.

Even Sen. Ted Cruz jumped on board the crazy train.

The lunacy has validated some deep-seated delusions that many in the fringe right-wing have. For some in Texas, it’s not whether or not Obama will invade Texas, it’s when. Abbott’s new personal army may be less about stopping illegal immigration – because it’s already stopped – and more about reassuring his craziest supporters that if push comes to shove, Texas could defend itself against the federal government.

So it is not Mexican drug gangs that should be afraid, it’s any American with enough common sense to see that one anti-government state stockpiling troops and weapons seems like a supremely bad idea.

Feature image via Wikimedia