Skip to comments.[Texas:]Dewhurst asks Perry to make border security an emergency legislative item
Posted on 01/13/2011 4:38:55 PM PST by SwinneySwitch
AUSTIN, Jan. 13 - Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has asked Gov. Rick Perry to add border security to the call as an emergency item for the 82nd Legislature.
Dewhurst spoke about the importance of fast-tracking border security legislation at a luncheon with the Capitol press corps on Thursday afternoon.
In his remarks, Dewhurst said he backs legislation that would allow the Department of Public Safety to set up southbound inspection stations on the border to check for weapons and cash going into Mexico.
I have asked Governor Perry to put a number of different items on the emergency call in addition to the two which he put on on Tuesday, and one of those is a border security resolution, Dewhurst told reporters.
That border security resolution, as were drafting it in the Senate, to go over to the House, (to) go to Washington, calls for a federal comprehensive response. For decades Congress and presidents have sat on their hands on border security. Im still at a loss to understand (why).
On Tuesday, the opening day of the 82nd session, Perry made eminent domain and sanctuary cities emergency items for lawmakers to consider. Such a designation allows a bill to be passed within the first 60 days of the session.
In his remarks on border security, Dewhurst said there are approximately 19,100 Border Patrol agents on all U.S. borders. He said that was not enough, pointing out that there are 4,000 police officers in New York City alone. They are taking the mindset, We are going to have the police necessary. Were not doing that, our borders are not secure, Dewhurst said.
Dewhurst said the Drug Enforcement Agency has told him that 93 percent of all the cocaine that comes into the U.S. crosses the border with Mexico, along with 100 percent of the marijuana. So, in our resolution were asking Congress to triple the number of Border Patrol, put about 40,000 more people on our border.
Dewhurst said empirical data shows that surge operations along the border that were funded by the state - $230 million in the past two legislative sessions have worked. Weve seen empirically, where we put additional resources on surge, nothing moves, he said.
Tripling the size of the Border Patrol would cost a little less than $3 billion dollars a year, Dewhurst said. That would be good value for money, he argued. According to third party studies - that is less than what illegal immigration, dangerous drug trafficking, cartel related trans-national gangs, people walking across that border with passports from terrorist nations are costing us in Texas, not to mention the other 49 states, Dewhurst said.
The push to have southbound vehicles checked at the border for weapons and cash was first proposed by the Texas Border Coalition. Since then, state Sens. Juan Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, and state Rep. Aaron Peña, R-Edinburg, have authored legislation on the subject. Now, Dewhurst has thrown his support behind such a measure.
Were also looking at an omnibus border security package bill that Ive asked the governor to put on a call, and that is where we have DPS checkpoints, Dewhurst said.
One of our fine Democrat senators is looking at legislation to have moving DPS checkpoints near the border to try to interdict drugs coming north and literally hundreds of millions of dollars, billions of dollars of cash going south, and weapons.
Dewhurst listed some of the improvements that could be made to help the fight against guns and cash going south. License plate readers in patrol cars; strengthen our federal e-verify, increase fines for drug-related felony and misdemeanor convictions. Use GPS tracking devices, criminal gang language, electronic fingerprinting, he said.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance also supports southbound inspections along the border. In a speech made Tuesday when he was sworn in as president pro-tem of the Senate, state Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said there is now a serious danger of Mexico becoming a failed state.
One of the things that we should do is put border inspection stations for all vehicles going from the United States into Mexico. Obviously theres a lot of people checking you when youre going north. But theres not a 24-hour presence checking you when youre going south, Ogden said.
And whats going on in our drug war is that drugs are coming into the United States, and stolen cars are leaving, and stolen guns are leaving, and millions of dollars of cash is leaving.
We, as members of this Legislature, need to think and work to secure our border. It is a national security issue, it is a state security issue, and none of us can afford to see Mexico fail as a country because Mexico loses its war along the border.
Go, Dewhurst, go!!! With all the warfare going on down there, it only makes sense to shut off the flow. This is not about racism or exclusivity ... it’s about safety for our citizens.
Is Dewhurst a Democrat?
The check-stop northbound on 281 is just south of Falfurrias.....probably a good 75 miles north of the border.
I’m more concerned with what’s coming into the country than what’s departing.
No more arrest and release. Heavy-duty employer sanctions. No driver’s license. No free school for illegals. Stop the magnets pulling them here.
NO, he is a 3 term Republican Lt. Governor.
He was previously an officer in the U.S. Air Force, an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, and worked in the United States State Department.
In 1981, Dewhurst founded Falcon Seaboard, a Texas-based diversified energy and investments company. He breeds registered Black Angus cattle and rides cutting horses in American Quarter Horse Association and National Cutting Horse Association competitions.
Thanks. The article and he referenced others who were identified as Democrats. It is unusual for the Lt. Gov. to be making such pronouncements rather than the Gov.
You must understand that Texas is a bit different concerning (older) Democrats. There were (past tense) many who were both more fiscally and socially Conservative than most current Republicans.
That was prior to the Left taking-over the Dem Party about 30 years ago. Texas and much of the Deep South was then almost 100% Dem.
Now it is solidly Republican and we are gaining ground on that. I have been registered Republican my entire lifetime.