National Guard Deployment To Border May Cost Texas $650 Million

The Lower Rio Grande Valley alone stands to lose 7,800 jobs.


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Maj. Gen. Nichols speaking to National Guard troops training for deployment to the Texas border. Photo credit: Office of the Texas Governor


The Texas National Guard has been deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border for seven weeks, as part of an effort to stem illegal immigration. A new study finds the deployment is hurting the economy of the region and may cost thousands of jobs.

The stiffest burden is falling on the Lower Rio Grande Valley, according to The Perryman Group, an economic analysis firm based in Waco.  Ray Perryman, who heads the group, says the extended troop presence risks depressing tourism and retail activity, as well as discouraging business investment.

“Assuming it lasts about a year,” Perryman says, “it would be about $541 million, a little over half a billion dollars in gross product [lost] in the local area down there and about 7,800 jobs. The losses to the state as a whole would be a bit bigger because of spillover effects, about $650 million in output and about 8,700 jobs.”

Governor Rick Perry deployed National Guard troops to the border on July 21, in response to a wave of immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The majority of the immigrants have been unaccompanied children.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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