AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Senate tentatively passed the most comprehensive approach to addressing border security in the state’s history.
“Securing and protecting our southern border is the constitutionally mandated responsibility of the federal government,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “However, in the absence of federal action, the State of Texas is shouldering this public safety necessity.
“National security starts with border security and border security starts in Texas,” continued Patrick. “Washington may choose to look the other way but not Texas.
“This legislation will ensure that we have adequate manpower and resources on the ground, and in the air, to stop an influx of dangerous criminals and potential terrorists, illegal drug and weapon smugglers, and the inflow of those intent on human trafficking,” concluded Patrick.
The Senate’s border security bill also provides the following:
- 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 transnational crimes
- Creates a multi-agency training facility in the Rio Grande Valley, which will serve local, state and federal law enforcement authorities.
A joint – oversight committee made up of Texas House and Texas Senate members will also monitor the implementation of border activities during the next legislative interim.