The Big Conversation
Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has put a price tag on the cost to Texas taxpayers of the surge of unaccompanied minors across the border — at least $50 million.
Abbott, in an interview Thursday, said his first course of action is to get an accurate accounting of state money spent on illegal immigration and to formally ask for reimbursement.
If his request fails, Abbott could lodge what would be one of his most high-profile lawsuits against the Obama administration, all while an international humanitarian crisis and a gubernatorial race play out.
“When I say $50 million, it is nothing more than a very rough ball park estimate. It could be far greater,” Abbott said, noting that the figure could rise if the state ends up paying to educate some of the child migrants.
In addition, Saleh Rauf and Buch report that the AG's office has asked state agencies to list the costs "related to any unauthorized immigration" since June 2012. Agencies have until Aug. 1 to reply.
The Day Ahead
• U.S Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will do a quick barnstorming tour this weekend. On Friday, he is scheduled to visit Victoria, Shiner and Yoakum. And on Saturday, he is scheduled to visit Fredericksburg and Stonewall.
• Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is in El Paso to kick off a phone outreach campaign by her volunteers.
As Teacher Pay Lags, Attrition and Class Size Grow, by Morgan Smith
Sheep Power: Texas Solar Farm Employs Lamb Landscapers, by Jim Malewitz
Analysis: On the Democratic Ticket, Watch the Co-pilot, by Ross Ramsey
Abbott, Davis hit impasse on Rio Grande Valley debate, McAllen Monitor
Faster deportations? A possible border crisis deal, The Associated Press
Militia group is training near San Antonio, San Antonio Express-News
Perry's 'conspiracy' border claim belies complicated humanitarian crisis, San Antonio Express-News
UT regents say they are close to hiring new chancellor, Austin American-Statesman
Is This the Most Dangerous Man in Texas?, Texas Monthly
Lubbock activist Ziegler announces bid for House 83 seat, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Quote to Note
“I know this is a long line. I feel real bad, but — I’m gonna cut.”
President Barack Obama, demonstrating his executive authority by jumping the line at Franklin Barbecue
Today in TribTalk
The GOP's new dog-whistle politics, by Emmanuel Garcia
Trib Events for the Calendar
• The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. The next round of participants has now been announced, a list headed by Wendy Davis, Rick Perry, John Cornyn and Atlanta, Ga., Mayor Kasim Reed. Act now!