Texas Senate Passed A Controversial Resolution Siding With President Trump's Border Emergency Declaration

Chris Fox
April 03, 2019 - 3:11 pm

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Senate Resolution 535 by Republican State Senator Paul Bettencourt spelled out support for President Trump’s border emergency declaration and also had a message to Congress. As it reads on the resolution, “[T]he Texas Senate hereby expresses its dissatisfaction with the United States Congress' inadequate efforts to fully fund the operational security of the Texas-Mexico international border.”

Senate Democrats were angered how their GOP counterparts side-stepped traditional procedure to fast-track the bill without including them. State Senator Jose Menendez of San Antonio called out Senator Bettencourt and the Senate Republicans for blindsiding the Democrats. “”Why didn’t it go through a process where we could debate it in committee and have public testimony on it?” Bettencourt responded, “because of the nature of the crisis and the fact we’re looking at over 100-thousand crossings…the fact that Secretary Nielsen  (Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen) says we’ve got a humanitarian and security crisis on the border.”

In a heated exchange, Democratic State Senator John Whitmire, the most tenured member of the Senate, argued with Bettencourt that the bigger crisis was not on the border. “The crisis is a domestic crisis in our urban centers. What you’ve got on the border, would you not agree with me, is a humanitarian (crisis).” Whitmire also questioned the impact such a resolution would have on the President and the US Congress. “What are you telling them they don’t know?” Bettencourt responded, “What’s the problem with recognizing it?” Angered by that Whitmire came back with “the problem is we’re not taking care of the business people sent us here too take care of and I will close saying the only crisis I know that we need to address is the one we’re witnessing right here on the Senate floor today.”

The Republican resolution passed along strict party lines 19-12.

SR 535:


 

By: Bettencourt, et al.

S.R. No. 535

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

       WHEREAS, The United States Congress has the moral and

 

constitutional responsibility to fully maintain the operational

 

security of the Texas-Mexico international border; and

 

       WHEREAS, The United States Congress has neglected to fully

 

fund the maintenance, order, and safety of the Texas-Mexico

 

international border; and

 

       WHEREAS, An unprotected border facilitates drug smuggling

 

and human trafficking and opens the door to spillover violence

 

from criminal cartels and poses a grave threat to homeland

 

security; and

 

       WHEREAS, On March 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of

 

Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, sent an

 

urgent request to the United States Congress describing the

 

border as "a humanitarian and security catastrophe that is

 

worsening by the day"; and

 

       WHEREAS, DHS is expected to report the interdiction of

 

100,000 migrants in March 2019, which would be the highest

 

monthly total in a decade; and

 

       WHEREAS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had

 

12,000 migrants in custody the last week of March 2019, an

 

unprecedented number; and

 

       WHEREAS, Secretary Nielsen reports that the volume of

 

"vulnerable populations" is unsustainable and DHS, CBP, and

 

Health and Human Services (HHS) facilities are at peak capacity

 

to shelter unaccompanied alien children (UAC); and

 

       WHEREAS, Due to the unprecedented influx of migrants

 

overwhelming the capacity at CBP stations and the ongoing crisis,

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Del Rio Sector have

 

begun releasing detainees into Texas; and

 

       WHEREAS, News reports reveal undocumented women have made

 

their way into American border towns after being beaten for

 

disobeying smugglers, impregnated by strangers, coerced into

 

prostitution, shackled to beds and trees, and – in at least a

 

handful of cases – bound with duct tape, rope, or handcuffs; and

 

       WHEREAS, 194,000 criminal aliens booked into Texas jails

 

from 2011-2019 were charged with more than 299,000 criminal

 

offenses; and

 

       WHEREAS, CBP reports the unprecedented increase in migrant

 

interdictions is having a detrimental impact on CBP's primary

 

border security mission and security posture resulting in up to

 

40 percent or more of CBP personnel working to care for,

 

transport, and process vulnerable families and children; and

 

       WHEREAS, Transnational criminal organizations and

 

smugglers are using large groups of families as diversions to

 

exploit and profit from reduced border enforcement presence; and

 

       WHEREAS, Members of Congress have filed legislation to

 

designate drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations for

 

their undermining of American national security with a

 

relentless attack on our border while trafficking in human

 

beings; and

 

       WHEREAS, The President of the United States has declared

 

the situation along the border a "crisis"; and

 

       WHEREAS, The United States Congress has consistently

 

delayed meaningful action on border security, forcing Texas to

 

expend significant resources to keep the international border

 

with Mexico secure and placing an undue burden on the state's

 

taxpayers; now, therefore, be it

 

       RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate hereby expresses its

 

dissatisfaction with the United States Congress' inadequate

 

efforts to fully fund the operational security of the

 

Texas-Mexico international border; and, be it further

 

       RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate calls upon the United

 

States Congress to adopt a budget that fully funds all means

 

necessary to fully secure the Texas-Mexico international border,

 

including, but not limited to, deploying personnel, implementing

 

effective technologies, and erecting barriers where needed; and,

 

be it further

 

       RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate requests the federal

 

government cease separating families at the border as a means of

 

deterring refugees, and to humanely process refugee and asylum

 

seekers; and, be it further

 

       RESOLVED, That the Texas Senate declares this crisis at

 

the Texas-Mexico International Border an emergency; and, be it

 

further

 

       RESOLVED, The Texas Senate supports the President in his

 

efforts to move forward with emergency action; and, be it further

 

       RESOLVED, That the Secretary of the Texas Senate forward

 

official copies of this resolution to the President of the United

 

States, to the President of the U.S. Senate, and to the Speaker of

 

the U.S. House of Representatives, and to all members of the

 

Texas delegation to Congress with the request that this

 

resolution be entered in the Congressional Record.