The Republican Party of Texas has approved three pieces of legislation as meeting the criteria for their border security legislative priority, as the deadline to file bills is on the horizon.
Securing the border and protecting Texans is one of eight legislative priorities for the session as Texans have been sounding the alarm for two years now regarding the devastation to property, livelihoods, and human life.
The priority states:
Texas shall immediately deny all taxpayer funded services and subsidies to illegal aliens. We call upon the Governor to assert his duty under Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the US Constitution to declare an invasion on our Texas border and do everything in his power to protect Texans from this invasion. The legislature shall direct the Governor to enter into an Interstate Compact with one or more states for Border Security.
To this end, the RPT has endorsed three pieces of legislation so far.
Additionally, Senate Bill 237 by State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood) and its companion in the Texas House, House Bill 82 by State Rep. David Spiller (R–Jacksboro), would create an interstate compact for border security after being approved by the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress. The interstate compact would allow the compacted states to apprehend or deflect illegal border-crossers and possibly enforce federal immigration law, if Congress approves.
RPT Legislative Priorities Chair Jill Glover told Texas Scorecard, “There are four more bills we are expecting to approve, but we are concerned about the lack of urgency from the Legislature so far about closing the border. We hope it changes soon and look forward to working with any of our elected officials to pass this priority.”
Texans for Strong Borders is advocating for additional legislative solutions to the border invasion:
We MUST push for this emergency item to be fulfilled by substantive legislation that actually secures the border, not just more spending without any authority to repel and expel illegal aliens.
Declare an invasion, stop the magnets, mandate E-Verify, put pressure on Mexico. https://t.co/kIpzfQrSsN
— Texans for Strong Borders (@StrongBordersTX) February 17, 2023
Border security is an emergency priority for the governor, and legislation to secure the border can be taken up immediately in both chambers of the Texas Legislature.
However, only the Senate has chosen to do so.
The Texas House has been moving at a glacial pace and only began assigning legislation to committees for consideration on Wednesday—44 days into the 140-day session. Additionally, multiple state representatives have raised concerns about the number of long breaks the Legislature is taking, as neither the House nor the Senate will return to their chambers until next Tuesday, February 28.
The deadline to file legislation is March 10.
Concerned citizens can use the Texas Scorecard Elected Officials Directory to let their elected officials know what they think about border security.