AUSTIN – Today, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick made the following statement following the first interim hearing on Border Security.
“I am very pleased the Texas Senate continues to lead on border security and efforts to end the practice of allowing Sanctuary Cities,” Patrick said. “Clarification and consistency on this issue for our 254 counties and all Texas cities are both long overdue.
“At today’s first interim hearing members heard strong pleas for state assistance. I am committed to work with the Senate, both during this interim and the remainder of my term in office, to make sure that assistance is provided. Committee Chair Senator Brian Birdwell is doing an outstanding job heading up this important interim charge.”
During the hearing Texas Department of Public Safety Director, Steven McCraw testified that over a four year period more than 174-thousand illegal aliens have been arrested and booked into Texas jails charged with more than 460-thousand criminal violations. McCraw also pointed out that doesn’t include violators who may have committed crimes but haven’t been arrested.
Texas Sheriff’s Association Legislative Director, A.J. ‘Andy’ Louderback, also told committee members “we have a lot of criminal aliens here now.” Louderback blamed the problem on the federal government’s Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP, which he said “significantly weakens how we protect the state.”
Patrick added, “The facts are clear and demand a response. When it comes to federal immigration laws our hands may be tied but Texas can and will take action to guarantee public safety. The facts and statistics today back up what I have been saying since I was first elected to the legislature in 2007,” Patrick concluded. “Texans are at risk as long as Washington fails to do its job and refuses to protect our border. While securing the border is a responsibility of Washington, DC, it is still a Texas problem. That’s why the Senate led the way during the last session to provide funding for border security at the highest levels in history.”