Feds absent at the border, TX Rep. steps up
Earlier this month, Speaker Phelan said, “the crisis happening at our border can’t be overstated,” yet officials in Washington, D.C. continue to do nothing to address our nation’s border security. According to Speaker Phelan, “the message is clear, Texans: We are on our own.”
Fortunately, Representative Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City, a South Texas Republican and an ART-supported representative, is continuing his commitment to protect the safety of Texans this session. Two bills that Rep. Guillen has filed, House Bills 7 and 800, are on Speaker Phelan’s list of priorities for Texas’ 88th legislative session.
House Bill 7 would create the Legislative Border Safety Oversight Committee. The proposed 10-member committee would be made up of the Lieutenant Governor, House Speaker, four senators and four house representatives. If passed, the committee will design and guide improvements to state border safety policies in conjunction with the state’s border protection units.
Furthermore, this bill would establish a new Regional Border Protection Court Program to exercise jurisdiction over border-related issues, a program that will alleviate the strain on our justice system.
Additionally, HB 7 would create multiple new grants for higher education institutions and local governments in Texas border communities, and create a reimbursement process for Texas residents to file property damages caused by illegal foreign nationals.
Since President Biden took office illegal border crossings and subsequent apprehensions are on the rise in Texas. In one such instance, U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued more than 100 illegal immigrants from three squalid stash houses during a 24-hour period in El Paso, Texas.
The El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said that, “sheltering immigrants in unsanitary and unsafe conditions is common practice by transnational criminal organizations that disregard the safety of the migrants they exploit.”
Rep. Guillen’s House Bill 800 would crack down on human smuggling in Texas by increasing the mandatory minimum sentence for these convictions to 10 years in prison. Furthermore, HB 800 would require a minimum of five years in prison for people convicted of running a “stash house.”
ART President, Jamie McWright, applauded Rep. Guillen “for providing a solution and maintaining his commitment to furthering the safety of Texans. These provisions represent just a few of the significant efforts being proposed by Texas Republicans to fill the void left by the Biden Administration.”