For years, Republican lawmakers have been promising to secure the Texas Border, yet for years, the situation has only gotten worse. To call the surge of millions of illegal aliens who come across with the assistance of narcoterrorist cartels—the only groups who do have control of the border—anything other than an invasion is to do disservice to the crisis faced by our nation and state.
Meanwhile, their counterparts in the Democrat Party have been working to keep the border wide open.
Since President Joe Biden took office over 8.5 million illegal aliens have crossed into our country illegally. The state of Texas has borne the brunt of this invasion and border communities have had to deal with rampant increases in human trafficking, drug smuggling, and other cartel-related maladies, not to mention the humanitarian implications of thousands of illegal aliens being effectively dumped into their small towns.
To address the issue, Republican State Rep. Matt Schaefer (Tyler) filed House Bill 20, an innovative proposal that would have established a Border Protection Unit under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Public Safety. This proposed unit would have been tasked with overseeing the design, construction, and upkeep of a physical barrier wall.
Comprised of both commissioned and noncommissioned officers, the BPU would have been entrusted with the responsibility of identifying, intercepting, and deterring individuals attempting to unlawfully cross the Texas Border. The bill included provisions for imposing legal consequences on those who enter the state without proper authorization. It also introduced a protocol aligned with State Rep. Brian Harrison’s (R-Midlothian) proposal to enact a clone of the federal government’s Title 42 at the state level to manage public health emergencies.
Most importantly, the bill would have established a legislative finding of invasion in accordance with Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution and granted BPU officers the authority necessary to return illegal aliens to Mexico.
Texans for Strong Borders, the Republican Party of Texas, and other grassroots organizations all put out alerts to lawmakers asking them to vote in favor of the legislation. But when HB 20 came up, the bill was killed without a vote on a point of order raised by Democrat State Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas that was sustained by House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont).
Following Phelan’s decision to defeat the border security bill at the behest of Democrats, there was another potential vehicle for border security efforts: State Rep. Ryan Guillen’s (R-Rio Grande City) House Bill 3782.
HB 3782 aimed to establish the Border Security Advisory Council to advise the governor and the Legislature on border security issues as well as streamline state processes. It would also establish the Border Protection Task Force, which would consolidate and coordinate state resources.
However, the bill had a terrible “agreed to” provision, requiring Republicans to hand over considerable power to the same Democrats who had been working all session to stop Republican-led border security efforts. In fact, Democrats would have the same number of seats as Republicans!
State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) attempted to amend the bill to remove that provision—likening it to appointing lawmakers committed to defunding the police to a police advisory committee.
“If people don’t support border security, why would we put them on the Border Security Council?” said Tinderholt.
Tinderholt’s amendment failed in a vote of 28-115. You can watch the entire exchange here:
Democrats are for Open Borders. They're for Amnesty.
And yet over 50 Texas House Republicans voted to protect Democrats' spots on a Border Security Advisory Council.
— Cary Cheshire (@CaryCheshireTX) August 18, 2023
The Republicans who voted with Democrats to protect liberal, open borders lawmakers’ spots on the Border Security Advisory Committee are as follows:
Steve Allison, Trent Ashby, Ernest Bailes, Keith Bell, Greg Bonnen, Brad Buckley, DeWayne Burns, Dustin Burrows, Angie Chen Button, Giovanni Capriglione, Travis Clardy, David Cook, Tom Craddick, Charles Cunningham, Drew Darby, Jay Dean, Mano DeAyala, James Frank, Gary Gates, Charlie Geren, Craig Goldman, Ryan Guillen, Sam Harless, Cody Harris, Justin Holland, Todd Hunter, Jacey Jetton, Kyle Kacal, Ken King, John Kuempel, Stan Lambert, Brooks Landgraf, Jeff Leach, Janie Lopez, JM Lozano, Morgan Meyer, Geanie Morrison, Andrew Murr, Candy Noble, Tom Oliverson, Angelia Orr, Jared Patterson, Dennis Paul, John Raney, Glenn Rogers, Matt Shaheen, Hugh Shine, Shelby Slawson, Reggie Smith, David Spiller, Ed Thompson, and Gary VanDeaver
Many of these same lawmakers would later claim the 88th Texas Legislature was one of the most conservative sessions in Texas history. But can it really be called a conservative session when lawmakers refused to pass any legislation that will result in a single illegal alien being removed from the State of Texas? When lawmakers refused to pass any legislation that will deny a subsidy like in-state tuition to a single illegal alien in Texas? When lawmakers refused to pass any legislation to require E-Verify for all employers and stop illegal aliens from taking jobs from American citizens?
At Texans for Strong Borders, we don’t think so, and the grassroots Republican voters we talk to each day don’t either.
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