Border communities profiting from Texas surge of law enforcement to the area.

In Rio Grande City, named for the river that splits the U.S. from Mexico, footpaths cut from the brush by drug-smugglers and illegal immigrants have a new look, rehabbed into family-friendly hike-and-bike trails.

The town of 14,000, seat of the poorest county in Texas, put $80,000 into the project, and is spending $125,000 on a new park. It bought a vacant building for $1.3 million Monday that will become the new City Hall. Everybody knows where the money’s coming from, because they’re everywhere -- the border-patrol agents who crowd the most popular taco trucks at lunchtime and get their shirts starched over at Comet Cleaners.

Now that the state has authorized $800 million to ratchet up security on the Mexico line, more troopers are on their way to deliver another shot to what might be the biggest stimulus program this needy part of Texas has ever seen. Even some critics of border-defense spending have changed their tune.

“We’ve quit fighting,” said Steve Ahlenius, president of the Chamber of Commerce in McAllen, who has opposed a buildup of forces as a misdirected waste of money. “We’ve finally just come to the conclusion that we’ll welcome the investment -- and treat it as an investment.”
There is much more.

The law enforcement people are spending more than the illegals who are attempting to pass through.  It also has the added benefit of making their communities safer.


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