Texas Democrats have come out against border security, after a Senate vote on Tuesday.
In a legislative session that has so far been characterized by unanimous votes and bipartisan spending sprees, the Texas Senate broke the pattern on Tuesday by passing a resolution declaring the crisis at the Texas-Mexico International Border an emergency and requesting that the U.S. Congress adopt a budget that fully funds all means necessary to secure the southern border fully.
RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate hereby expresses its dissatisfaction with the United States Congress’ inadequate efforts to fully fund the operational security of the Texas-Mexico international border; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate calls upon the United States Congress to adopt a budget that fully funds all means necessary to fully secure the Texas-Mexico international border, including, but not limited to, deploying personnel, implementing effective technologies, and erecting barriers where needed; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate declares this crisis at the Texas-Mexico International Border an emergency; and, be it further
RESOLVED, The Texas Senate supports the President in his efforts to move forward with emergency action.
Senate Resolution 535 was filed on Tuesday by State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston), with all of the chamber’s 19 Republicans joining on as joint authors, and passed the same day, highlighting the urgency of the humanitarian crisis.
Democrats, however, were apoplectic with the entire proposition, complaining that the resolution and its deliberation was too “partisan.”
“The time is well past to act now,” said Bettencourt. “We have the moral responsibility to speak out.”
The resolution points to increased amounts of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking along the entirety of the southern border, issues that led President Donald Trump to make an emergency declaration earlier this year.
“We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year and, without them coming to a solution in Congress, we are going to continue spending that,” Bettencourt added. “I think it’s well past time to declare what we all know and state the obvious.”
In fact, the state of Texas has spent $800 million each biennium for the past several years on security measures, including stationing officers from the Department of Public Safety along the border.
When the vote finally took place after hours of debate and failed Democrat attempts to gut the resolution through amendments, it was finally approved on a party-line vote with every Democrat member voting in opposition.
“The Texas Senate adopted Senate Resolution 535 today to make it crystal clear to Congress that the crisis at the border is very real,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick after the vote. “This past weekend, border officials announced what was obvious to millions of Texans — the situation at the border is at the breaking point.”
The resolution will now be sent to President Trump as well as the United States House of Representatives and Senate.