Keeping Texans Safe - Border Security & Illegal Immigration Update - Don Huffines for Texas Senate

  

Keeping Texans Safe - Border Security & Illegal Immigration Update

Securing the border and providing for a functioning system of legal immigration are unquestionably federal responsibilities. Yet the federal government has failed spectacularly. In order to keep Texans safe, the Texas Legislature has and will continue to take decisive action to secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and more. I’m pleased to update you on all of the actions your Texas Senate has taken so far this session to keep Texans safe.

 

Securing the border and providing for a functioning system of legal immigration are unquestionably federal responsibilities. Yet the federal government has failed spectacularly. In order to keep Texans safe, the Texas Legislature has and will continue to take decisive action to secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and more. I’m pleased to update you on all of the actions your Texas Senate has taken so far this session to keep Texans safe.  

 

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Senate Bill 4 - Sanctuary Cities

According to data from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, from June 1, 2011 to March 31, 2017, more than 217,000 criminal aliens were booked into local Texas jails. According to DPS:
During their criminal careers, these criminal aliens were charged with more than 579,000 criminal offenses. Those arrests include 1,179 homicide charges; 68,900 assault charges; 16,854 burglary charges; 68,999 drug charges; 699 kidnapping charges; 40,818 theft charges; 45,104 obstructing police charges; 3,813 robbery charges; 6,190 sexual assault charges; and 8,693 weapons charges. Of the total criminal aliens arrested in that time-frame, over 144,000 or 66% were identified by DHS status as being in the US illegally at the time of their last arrest.
That’s why the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 4 to prohibit dangerous sanctuary policies. Illegal aliens who commit further crimes against Texans must not be allowed to walk our streets. This is a statewide issue, too. Whenever Travis County releases a dangerous criminal alien, that person is free to travel anywhere in the state, and his next crime could occur in Dallas County. I’m proud to co-author Senate Bill 4. 

Senate Bill 23 - E-Verify

One way to limit illegal immigration is to stop the jobs magnet. Senate Bill 23 requires the use of E-Verify by all employers who do business with the state of Texas. E-Verify allows those employers to ensure they are hiring only people who are legally authorized to work in the U.S. - and not illegal immigrants. I am a Joint Author to this bill, and I hope it is just the first step to requiring E-Verify of all employers in Texas!

Senate Bill 1 - Border Security Funding

The budget passed by the Texas Senate includes $800 million for border security. That includes funding for recruiting, training, equipping, and deploying 250 new state troopers to help secure the border. With my SB 280 - see below - state troopers deployed to the border can have the arrest authority they need. While the new administration in Washington D.C. offers a promising outlook for border security, Texas cannot rest until the federal government actually secures the border. We’ve been let down too many times. 

Senate Bill 260 - Keeping Texas out of the Federal Refugee Program

We simply cannot trust the federal government’s current screening process for refugees who are coming to our shores from nations with ties to terrorism. Texans have big hearts, and we give generously. However, the federal refugee program presents very real threats for Texans. It offers too many opportunities for radical Islamic extremists to exploit our generosity. The tragic string of terror attacks throughout Europe should serve as a stark warning. That’s why I strongly support Governor Greg Abbott’s decision to withdraw Texas from the federal refugee resettlement program. In fact, my Senate Bill 260 - which was recently heard in the Senate Veteran Affairs & Border Security Committee - locks that prudent decision in place, keeping Texas out of the federal refugee resettlement program until the Governor and the Texas Legislature deem it safe to participate. 

In the 1980's, I personally helped to resettle refugees in this country. I have toured UN refugee camps. My wife was the director of refugee resettlement at Catholic Charities in Dallas. With all of my personal experience, I can definitively say that we must significantly update and rebuild the federal refugee program to reflect the threat of foreign terrorists. We cannot allow the our refugee program to be a red carpet for potential terrorist to enter our state.

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Senate Bill 280 - Expanding the Mission with Limited Arrest Authority

While border security remains a top priority for state government, Texas is severely limited by the federal government and the courts. As we increase funding for border security, we must begin to push the envelope to expand the mission of our men and women of law enforcement by empowering them to act when they are sent to the border. That includes giving Texas law enforcement additional authority to arrest individuals who have crossed the border illegally. Additional funding is important, but to ensure that it is being spent effectively and efficiently, we must give Texans more authority to directly address the challenges that the federal government cannot or will not take on. The federal government isn’t doing the job, but it won’t let Texas do it either. It’s time to stop asking permission and start taking decisive action.

I have filed Senate Bill 280 to empower Texas law enforcement officers to arrest illegal immigrants. The bill expands our state trespassing law. As we continue to spend hundreds of million of taxpayers’ dollars on border security, we must make sure the results are worth the expenditure. By expanding the mission, Senate Bill 280 is just another tool for Texas law enforcement to use to keep Texans safe!

Senate Bill 764 - Accounting for the Costs of Illegal Immigration

llegal immigration is a costly proposition for Texas taxpayers. From schools, to health care, to jails, there are a number of costs Texans bear because of the federal government’s failure to secure the border. It’s time that we fully account for those costs so the public and lawmakers can make decisions to save taxpayers’ money as we continue our fight to keep Texans safe. My Senate Bill 764 will account for the costs of illegal immigration to Texas taxpayers. That accounting will help us take decisive actions to save taxpayers’ money by ending illegal immigration!
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As your state Senator, I work for you, not the government! I don’t accept the pay, per diem, or any benefits, such as health care or pension. I don’t even accept travel reimbursements. That makes sure that I stay grounded and constantly aware of who I serve: the hard-working residents and taxpayers of Senate District 16!

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