Texas State Senators want to send a delegation to Washington to find out just how much it is going to take to fully fund border and immigration laws in Texas.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 36–filed by Sen. Tommy Williams, R-Woodlands, and co authored by 18 other members of the Senate–passed with widespread, bipartisan support today. The resolution pressures Texas congressional members to provide the Texas legislature a cost analysis of how much funding would be needed to fully enforce immigration and border security. A delegation from both chambers of the Texas legislature would be sent to Washington to meet with Congress and a copy of the resolution would be sent to the office of the President.
The resolution points to thirteen incidents of violence that have occured over the past five years, such as the shooting death of Houston Officer Rodney Johnson by an undocumented immigrant in 2006 and the alleged brutal murder of Michael Hartley by Mexican cartel members on Falcon Lake.
“What this bill is meant to do is wake up Congress,” Williams said. “When you see what is happening to U.S. citizens traveling into Mexico and incidents like what happened in Houston with Rodney Johnson, it points to the inadequecies about the security on our border.”
Some border legislators who normally do not see eye to eye with Williams on issues of immigration spoke in favor of the bill.
“Alot of people don’t realize how much money the state of Texas spends on issues that should be taken care of by the federal government,” Sen Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen said. “We need to send the message that we are doing more of our share than compared to what they’re (federal government) doing.”
But one border lawmaker, Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, believes that while the bill is well intentioned it would hurt border communities like his. “It [SCR36] will conjure up a level of violence on the border that is simply not there,” Rodriguez fears. “It will impact economic development tourism, and the very image that border communities have by the rest of the country.”
Rodriguez’s was alone in his dissent. The resolution passed 30-1.