The Texas House and Senate both passed an Interstate Compact bill to help Texas, in concert with other states, secure its southern border.
Since the largely Democratic-controlled legislatures and governors of border states New Mexico, Arizona and California are unlikely to cooperate, an interstate pact would likely be made with other Republican-led states to secure the border between Texas and Mexico.
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Of the four southern border states, Texas shares the longest border with Mexico at 1,254 miles and has been hardest hit by the Biden administration’s policy of amending federal immigration laws.
SB 1403, introduced by Senator Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, and its accompanying bill, HB 82, introduced by Representative David Spiller, R-Jacksboro, passed the Senate on April 17 and the House on May 10. the bill with an amendment, which went back to the Senate, which agreed. The House and Senate voted again Tuesday to pass the bill. On Wednesday it was sent to the governor, who is expected to sign it.
“An interstate border enforcement treaty will provide Texas and other participating states with the resources necessary to address the shortcomings of existing federal border policies,” the bill reads. analysis states. It provides a way for states to “share enforcement resources, intelligence and assistance in creating and maintaining defensive border structures,” which, according to the report, “enhance states’ capabilities to address and overcome the ongoing security crisis at our southern border. come, would strengthen”. .”
SB 1403 amends the government code to require the governor to develop and implement an interstate border security pact between interested states on behalf of the state. It requires the pact to provide concerted action between cooperating states to share information about illegal activities at the border, funding and resources to build a physical barrier and create and maintain defensive border structures, including an extensive state-owned surveillance technology system.
“Because this interstate pact does not change the balance of power between states and the federal government, congressional authorization is not required for the agreement to become or remain in effect,” the bill’s analysis said.
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The legislature finalized the bill as Governor Greg Abbott called fellow governors to help secure the border between Texas and Mexico. Democratic governors have yet to respond, but 24 Republican governors immediately pledged their support.
Abbott argues that despite the state’s best efforts, it cannot secure its border on its own. Since the launch of the state’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, in March 2021, Texas OLS agents have apprehended more than 373,000 illegal aliens and made more than 28,000 criminal arrests with more than 25,000 felony charges. They also seized more than 402 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill more than every person in the US
If they had more staff and resources, they could achieve even more, Abbott argues. The state has already spent $4.5 billion on border security in the past two years and is poised to allocate another $4.6 billion over the next two years. This is taxpayer money that Texas shouldn’t be spending if the federal government enforced the law, Abbott argues.
Since President Joe Biden has been in office and as a direct result of the policies of the Biden administration, a former CBP chief argues at least 7.7 million foreign nationals have been apprehended and reported as escape routes illegally entering the US, the highest number in US history.
So far this fiscal year, there have been 125 known, suspected terrorists caught illegally entering the southern border, according to CBP data.
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Parker argues that the 23,000 federal agents currently stationed along the southern border have been “given an impossible task” of securing it and dealing with the deluge of illegal aliens “with little support from a federal government that has consistently refused to allow border enforcement to to make it a priority. priority.”
The “enormous scale” of the border crisis, he argues, “calls for greater efforts and closer cooperation.”
The pact is likely to receive support from many Republican-led states. The 24 Republican governors who have already pledged their support said, “We support efforts to secure the border under Governor Abbott. While the federal government has abdicated its duties, Republican governors stand ready to protect the US-Mexico border and protect families.”
Syndicated with permission from the Center Square.