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

Chris Fox
April 03, 2019 - 3:11 pm

© Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com


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






       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




       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.