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As legislators and their families filled the Texas Capitol for the first day of the legislative session, one prominent lawmaker was conspicuously absent.

Instead of Austin, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was in Washington helping brief U.S. President Donald Trump on the problems at the Texas-Mexico border in advance of his address to the nation later that evening.

Following the president’s speech on the government shutdown and the need for border security on the southern border, Patrick issued the following statement:

President Trump is absolutely right that Congress must pass his commonsense border security bill and end this very real crisis at our southern border. In Texas, illegal immigration costs state taxpayers billions of dollars every year in healthcare, education, and law enforcement costs. In 2018 alone over 500,000 illegal aliens were apprehended crossing the border illegally—300,000 of those were in Texas.

 

Texans see firsthand the tragedies that take place at our border every day. No one should have to die trying to come to America. I was in Washington today working with the president’s team on his historic first address to the nation from the Oval Office and I am committed to doing everything I can to help the president end this crisis. I will be joining him in McAllen on Thursday for a briefing from those working directly on this problem.

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