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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    TX: New council will study border's 'soft spots'

    Sept. 11, 2007, 8:42PM
    New council will study border's 'soft spots'
    Panel's chief says all ports of entry will be looked at thoroughly

    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

    AUSTIN — One of the first priorities of the newly appointed Texas Border Security Council will likely be identifying the state's soft spots, Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos said on Tuesday after Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to chair the 11-person body.

    Texas legislators created the Border Security Council earlier this year as part of Senate Bill 11 designed to beef up border security efforts with a $110 million funding package. The council will create performance standards, reporting requirements, audit methods and other procedures for using the homeland security funding.

    The council also will advise the governor on how best to spend the border money.

    "Texans understand there can be no homeland security without border security," Perry said.

    Cascos said the council would look at all of the state's ports of entry along the Mexican border and Gulf Coast ports, such as the Port of Houston.

    "We'll take testimony from folks with responsibility for those areas tell the council if they believe that we have adequate security measures there," Cascos said. "We need to identify those soft spots and see what we can do to help the local communities and the state to secure the border."

    While homeland security remains a primary concern, 13 governors, including Perry, sent congressional leaders a letter Tuesday urging Congress to increase the number of temporary H1-B visas and permanent resident visas, or green cards.

    The supply of H1-B visas ran out on the first day of the filing period, the governors said in their letter, while similar pressures in the green card system create severe labor shortages.

    The border security council won't weigh in on federal immigration matters.

    "We'll be focused on security matters," said San Antonio attorney Allan Polunsky, a Perry appointee to the council.

    The council will facilitate border security, but Polunsky said it would be premature to conceptualize what those efforts might look like.

    "There are certain risk factors in place today. The governor recognizes those risks, and this is one method to try to reduce those risk issues in the border region," said Polunsky, a former chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. ... 27290.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I am always glad to have a glimmer of positive news and it is not my intention to denigrate the efforts of Texas Border Security Council but this issue does not need more studies; it needs action. Thousands more will cross the Texas border while this council meets, debates, and prepares its report. I can't help but believe this is gratuitous.

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