Operation Lone Star, Texas’ multi-agency initiative to manage the ongoing crisis at the southern border, has spent more than $148 million of taxpayer money on busing unlawful migrants to sanctuary cities across the country.

Texas has bused almost 90,000 unlawful migrants to sanctuary cities since the program began in April 2022, according to a press release from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.

However, this initiative has also come with a price tag of more than $148 million as of January 24, per documents obtained by NPR.

Ray Perryman, president of the Waco-based company The Perryman Group, questioned whether such tax dollars should be spent on the busing program.

“These dollars … are not a huge percentage of the overall budget, so [the busing is] certainly something that could be done,” he said, per NPR. “I think the question is, ‘Should it be done?'”

The report came shortly after documents obtained by CBS News Texas indicated that the state has spent more than $10 billion on Operation Lone Star since its initial launch.

The spending, however, purportedly resulted in more than 500,000 apprehensions of unlawful migrants and over 39,500 criminal arrests, including more than 35,600 felony charges, according to the press release.

Operation Lone Star was created to respond to the ongoing unlawful migration crisis at the southern border, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reporting record-high numbers of encounters with unlawful migrants.

The high numbers include jumps of more than 400,000 encounters each year since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. CBP also reported a record-high number of encounters during FY 2023, as previously covered by The Dallas Express.

While Texas has taken steps to manage the crisis, the federal government has filed multiple lawsuits to reverse some of the measures taken by the state.

Texas is currently involved in a number of federal lawsuits, including litigation pertaining to a floating barrier in the Rio Grande, concertina wire along the border meant to deter unlawful migrants, and a state law that would make unlawful entry a crime in March.