Increase in DPS Troopers causes concern for some Starr County residents
An increase in Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers is causing concern for some residents in Starr County.
The extra state troopers on Valley roads are due to Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, put in place to help with the area’s immigration influx.
According to DPS, from January to April, arrests in the county are up close to 74% compared to last year.
While the number of citations handed out has also increased by over 70%, Starr County Judge Eloy Vera said it’s hurting community members who are struggling.
“If someone is driving around, most of us have older vehicles,” Vera said. “[If] a bulb is not working, don’t cite them, they’re barely making it.”
According to Vera, the more people in the county jail, the more money it will cost.
“It’s costing us $35 a day to feed them and house them and everything else,” he said. “If you take hundreds of those a day, it very quickly gets in the millions of dollars.”
Since the start of Operation Lone Star in March, DPS has made 598 criminal arrests and over 16,000 referrals of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.