AUSTIN – Today Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Senator Brian Birdwell released the following joint-statement upon the passage of Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) by Senator Birdwell, 26-4:
“Securing our border has always been a federal government responsibility but a Texas problem,” said Patrick. “Now that the Texas Senate has overwhelmingly passed its state budget, funding border security at historic levels ($811 million), it was the appropriate time to pass SB 3.”
“In the absence of the federal government’s constitutionally-mandated duty, the state of Texas has shouldered the burden of stopping human trafficking, illegal drug and weapon smuggling, and an influx of dangerous criminals and potential terrorists,” said Senator Birdwell. “I’m extremely proud of the bipartisan support for SB 3, which will help the Department of Public Safety (DPS) sustain and appropriately expand their successful efforts to tackle these problems statewide.”
The Texas Senate adopted much of the Texas House bill’s language to increase border security in Texas but added the following language to strengthen the legislation:
- Reinforces the crucial role of the National Guard in securing the border
- Immediately allows DPS to implement southbound checkpoints
- Provides funding for a statewide ten-hour workday for the DPS
- Reorganizes the Transnational and Organized Crime Division of the Office of the Attorney General to assist with border prosecutions with an enhanced focus on human trafficking and other trans-national crimes
- Creates a multi-agency training facility in the Rio Grande Valley which will serve local, state and federal law enforcement authorities.
“I thank Senator Birdwell and the Texas Senate for this very important vote.
“National security starts with border security and border security starts in Texas,” concluded Patrick.