This bill could be the key to securing the southern border.
Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton filed a bill in the Texas House of Representatives on March 4 aimed at creating a fund to pay for “border security enhancement projects.” As an Op-Ed from The Blaze’s Daniel Horowitz explained, it could even lead to the construction of the border wall in certain states.
Slaton’s bill would use state funds to complete the border wall in Texas and would require the governor to seek reimbursement from the federal government. In short, if the bill passes in the Texas legislature, the state would be able to construct a border wall system along its southern border using money from the Biden administration.
The bill would also strengthen Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s existing push for border security, reinforcing “Operation Lone Star” which launched this week and deployed National Guard and Border Patrol agents to protect the southern border against incoming drug cartels.
Today Texas launched Operation Lone Star to respond to the border crisis.
It deploys Nat’l Guard + DPS Officers + air, ground, marine, & tactical border security assets to deny Mexican Cartels & smugglers the ability to move drugs & people into Texas.https://t.co/r68J2laDpH
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 7, 2021
Both moves for security on the border are being made in response to the Biden administration’s actions so far. President Joe Biden halted construction of the border wall the day he took office, declaring a pause on “work on each construction project on the southern border wall.”
Construction for the border wall began in 2017 with then-President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13767, which ordered “the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border.”
According to border agents, though, the construction halt in January created a system of highways for drug cartels and human traffickers along the southern border. “We just built roads for the cartels,” Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark Dannels told The Washington Times.
Dannels, who spoke with Horowitz in an interview, said Biden’s order to stop work on the wall occurred in the middle of construction, creating a massive security breach along Arizona’s southern border. Dannels said builders removed old fencing and intended to replace it with new material, but Biden’s order prevented them from continuing with the project, leaving nothing there.
The impact of this breach isn’t just projected, either. Dannels told Horowitz that cameras in the border section of his county are counting about 3,000 illegal immigrants per month, but Border Patrol is only able to apprehend around 35 percent of them.
If the bill passes, it could solve another issue created by Biden’s administration; namely, who the agencies encounter and apprehend.
Interim guidelines released by the Department of Homeland Security last month force border security agents and operatives to only apprehend illegal immigrants who present a threat to national security. Following the release of these guidelines, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials made statements against the move, including former ICE Director Tom Homan.
Homan told The Epoch Times in February that the guidelines essentially made it so “it’s not illegal to be illegally in the United States anymore.” He explained the guidelines don’t actually aim for public safety, but only focus on “the worst of the worst.”
“When it comes to assault, when it comes to robbery and burglary, and all these other crimes that they’ve taken off the table, they’ve pretty much sent a message to the rest of the world [that] it’s OK to enter the country illegally — as long as you don’t commit a few of the most serious crimes, you’re free to stay, because ICE isn’t looking for you.”
While Slaton’s bill wouldn’t amend who law enforcement can actually apprehend, funding the construction of a border wall system could prevent a portion of immigrants from crossing legally, and the system of roads built alongside the wall would greatly aid border security agencies in apprehending who they’re currently allowed to under the interim guidelines.
The importance of Rep. Slaton’s bill shouldn’t be undermined.
Under an administration that denies an immigration crisis — even when trends point towards an all-time high migrant influx — and refuses to allow border security agencies to do their job and apprehend lawbreakers, it’s important that states stand up for themselves, working with other states and even other countries, to ensure their communities and constituents are safe.
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