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Thread: Texas Senate Sends Border Security Measure to House

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Texas Senate Sends Border Security Measure to House

    Senate Sends Border Security Measure to House

    photo by: Marjorie Kamys Cotera

    Sen. Brian Birdwell R-Granbury listens during debate of his campus carry bill SB #11 on March 18th, 2015

    The Texas Senate on Monday passed its own sweeping border security bill, choosing to send its own version to the House rather than taking up the House’s measure, which the lower chamber passed last month.

    Senate Bill 3
    by state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, is the upper chamber’s companion legislation for House Bill 11 by state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton. Both measures would beef up the number of Texas Department of Public Safety officers on the border; create a Rio Grande Valley intelligence center to analyze border crime information; establish a team of retired DPS officers to assist with background investigations and sex offender compliance; and increase penalties for human smuggling.

    But the Senate’s bill would keep the Texas Army National Guard on the border until the DPS is considered to be fully staffed in the region.

    "Now that the Texas Senate has overwhelmingly passed its state budget, funding border security at historic levels [$811 million], it was the appropriate time to pass SB 3," Lt. Gov.Dan Patrick said in a statement.

    The Senate approved SB 3 in a 26-4 vote, with Sens. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston; José Rodríguez, D-El Paso Rodney Ellis, D-Houston; and José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, voting in opposition. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

    "I'm extremely proud of the bipartisan support for SB 3, which will help the Department of Public Safety sustain and appropriately expand their successful efforts to tackle these problems statewide," Birdwell said in a statement.

    SB 3 doesn’t set a specific timeline on the Guard’s withdrawal. It states that the “deployment of Texas National Guard troops to the border region is needed until the Texas Department of Public Safety has the personnel to fully secure the border region without the assistance of the Texas National Guard Troops.”

    The House passed HB 11 in March, and was introduced as part of a package with House Bill 10, which addressed human trafficking and House Bill 12, which codify the duties of the state’s border prosecution unit. Like Bonnen’s measure however, the two have yet to have a hearing in a Senate committee.

    The Senate’s budget also contrasts with the House’s version in the amount appropriated for border security. The two chambers are about $300 million apart, in part because of the Senate’s desire to keep the National Guard deployed for an extended period of time.

    The Senate’s bill also requires DPS to study the usefulness of southbound checkpoints within 250 yards of the border to prevent the smuggling of guns and illicit cash. Birdwell amended his bill to make clear the agency doesn’t need to get additional legislative approval to establish the checkpoints.

    The measure passed with little opposition, mainly in part to Birdwell’s promise to keep more controversial measures, including the so-called sanctuary cities legislation, off his bill.

    That measure — Senate Bill 185 by Charles Perry, R-Lubbock — is pending legislation that would give local law enforcement expanded immigration enforcement powers. Birdwell also pledged to keep any version of Senate Bill 1819 by state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, off his proposal. That bill would eliminate a 2001 law that allows noncitizens, including undocumented immigrants, to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

    Rodríguez unsuccessfully offered several amendments to SB 3. One sought to add an oversight committee similar to one contained in the House’s bill. The committee would receive reports and testimony on border security operations to gauge their success. Another amendment would have required National Guard members to undergo cultural and sensitivity training. Rodriguez also sought to improve border infrastructure on key trade routes but failed.

    Before voting against the measure, Rodriguez told Birdwell he had several concerns about whether elements of the bill would be deemed unconstitutional, specifically the southbound checkpoint provisions and some of the human-smuggling language.




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  2. #2
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    Aug 2005
    Thank you Texas Senate! Lets go Texas House! And thank you, Texas, thank you, thank you, thank you. We will never forget Texas for doing this to save our nation from the disaster and travesty of illegal immigration.
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  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Texas Senate Passes $811 Million Border Security Measure

    by Bob Price
    21 Apr 2015

    AUSTIN, Texas – Members of the Texas Senate passed a border security measure that significantly raises the level of spending in the state’s effort to secure the Texas border with Mexico. The bill (SB 3) by Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) passed with massive bipartisan support in a vote of 26-4.

    “Now that the Texas Senate has overwhelmingly passed its state budget, funding border security at historic levels ($811 million), it was the appropriate time to pass SB 3,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) in response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas. ”Border security has always been a top priority as indicated in our budget which spends nearly $250 million more in border security than the House budget. As Lt. Governor this issue will continue to be my highest priority.”

    “In the absence of the federal government’s constitutionally-mandated duty, the state of Texas has shouldered the burden of stopping human trafficking, illegal drug and weapon smuggling, and an influx of dangerous criminals and potential terrorists,” said Sen. Birdwell in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “I’m extremely proud of the bipartisan support for SB 3, which will help the Department of Public Safety (DPS) sustain and appropriately expand their successful efforts to tackle these problems statewide.”

    The Senate bill contains much of the language of bill passed by the Texas House in March (HB 11), according to the Lt. Governor’s press release. The bill contains additional measures to help secure the border that were requested by the DPS, as previously reported by Breitbart Texas.

    Those measures include measures that:

    *Reinforces the crucial role of the National Guard in securing the border
    *Immediately allows DPS to implement southbound checkpoints
    *Provides funding for a statewide ten-hour workday for the DPS
    *Reorganizes the Transnational and Organized Crime Division of the Office of the Attorney General to assist with border prosecutions with an enhanced focus on human trafficking and other trans-national crimes
    *Creates a multi-agency training facility in the Rio Grande Valley which will serve local, state and federal law enforcement authorities.

    “National security starts with border security and border security starts in Texas,” concluded Patrick.

    In March, the Texas House passed a series of bills relating to border security and human trafficking. Those bills include HB 11 (referenced above) by State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton), HB 10 by State Rep. Senfronia Tompson (D-Houston) which dealt with the very serious Texas problem of human trafficking and HB 12 by House Homeland Security and Public Safety Chairman Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) that relates to the duties of the Texas border protection unit. None of these bills have received a hearing in the Senate. HB 12 (passed April 10) has yet to be referred to a Senate committee.

    The Senate bill spends about $300 million more than authorized by the House. One of the primary differences relates to the role of the Texas National Guard. The Senate version keeps the Guard deployed for a longer period of time which has been a long-stated goal of the Lt. Governor.

    An amendment by Senators Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsvile) and Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) provides for a multi-use training facility to be used by Texas Military Forces, county and municipal law enforcement agencies, and any other military or law enforcement agency, including federal agencies.

    The bill received bipartisan support. Only four Democrats voted against the bill. Those being Senators Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), José Rodríguez D-El Paso), Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), and José Menéndez (D-San Antonio). The bipartisan support followed Senator Birdwell’s commitment to not accept amendments that would attach Senator Charles Perry’s (R-Lubbock) Sanctuary City bill (SB 185) and Senator Donna Campbell’s (R-New Braunfels) bill to end in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, according to a Texas Tribune article by Julián Aguilar.

    SB 3 also provides for southbound checkpoints. Those checkpoints would be located within 250 yards of the border and would have the goal of interdicting guns and money that were being smuggled into Mexico. Senator Rodriguez voted for the bill but expressed concerns that this provision and a provision dealing with human smuggling might be found unconstitutional.

    The Senate bill will now move to the Texas House where it may see the same attention paid to it that the House bills have received in the Senate. Representative Bonnen has repeatedly expressed frustration about the lack of action by the Senate on the House bills that were passed in March. Senators have expressed similar frustrations with the House for its lack of action on several Senate bills including Open Cary and Campus Carry bills which have yet to be heard in the House.
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  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
    Lets go Texas! Please Texas House, support this bill and help us save our nation! Thank you Texas Senate!!
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