"Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature have invested a substantial amount of state resources in border security at a time when the state has many other vital priorities such as education, transportation and public health; however, there is an understanding in Texas that protecting our citizens is a fundamental responsibility of government, and they have committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect the people of Texas." - Steve McCraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety
In 2015, the Texas House prioritized border security and made a historic and unprecedented investment in keeping Texans safe.
- Hundreds of new state troopers have been assigned to the Texas-Mexico border for added protection. During the 2015 legislative session, the Texas House approved a border security package championed by Governor Greg Abbott, and invested a historic $800 million in border security. This allocation of funds provides for the hiring of an additional 250 state troopers to patrol the Texas border. The presence of these full-time troopers near the border reduces the need for occasional "surges" that draw law enforcement away from other areas of the state. Through House Bill 11, the Legislature also gave the Department of Public Safety the authority to expedite the hiring of military veterans who have been honorably discharged and want to become state troopers.
- The House fortified the state's Border Prosecution Unit. House Bill 12 provides additional funding and new resources for the state’s Border Prosecution Unit. The unit helps border-area authorities prosecute crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking and money laundering.
- The House intensified the fight against human trafficking. In response to the growing concern of human smuggling as a major activity in the border area, the House passed numerous bills that strengthen penalties for those who partake in the inhumane crime of human trafficking. As the first bill to pass this session, House Bill 10 created a Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit to make the prosecution of this criminal act easier and provide additional resources for children who are victims of human trafficking and for victims of forced prostitution.
- State agencies now must use E-Verify. The Legislature acted in 2015 to require state agencies and public universities to use the E-Verify system to protect against the hiring of those who are in the country illegally.
Border Security remains a top priority. The Texas House will relentlessly take a strong stand on border security in the future. Before the next legislative session, Members of the House will closely monitor the state’s border security efforts to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used effectively.
Texas House Republicans will stop at nothing to protect Texans from harm. We will continue to work diligently to secure our border.