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Border security

Dan Patrick Curiously Missing During Border Security Debate At Senate Finance Hearing

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

Dan Patrick based his primary campaign around getting tough on border security and immigration. He even had his signs depict a fence with a padlock on it with the words "Secure Our Border" emblazoned across the top, and referred to an "illegal invasion."

But, since his primary victory Dan Patrick has been noticeably less visible, and even though he sits on the Senate Finance Committee he was not engaged during the border debate that took place at the hearing.

It's not the first time Patrick hasn't jumped at the opportunity to debate. See more on that below the jump...

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Rick Perry Chose To Bypass Legislative Approval In Sending Troops To Border

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

On Tuesday afternoon the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing where they hotly debated the strategy and funding of Governor Perry's troop surge along the border.

It turns out Perry has what is essentially a blank check via a budget rider that gives the Governor enormous leeway to use at his own discretion.

In his 14th year in office Perry is challenging the notion that Texas has a weak Governorship by enacting his own de facto foreign policy.

See Perry's latest attack ad and the text of the ryder below the jump...

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Texas Border Sheriff Says Rick Perry Throwing Region "Under the Bus for His Own Political Gain"

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

In a video interview conducted by a citizen journalist, Interim Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. "Eddie" Guerra said that Gov. Perry sending National Guard troops to the border was not helpful to local law enforcement.

He also said that the appearance of a militarization of the border sent the wrong message to the community, and created a false characterization that "rampant" crime was occurring.

The Sheriff also spoke about his past positive experiences with the National Guard in South Texas, the continuing humanitarian crisis and the request that border sheriffs made to the Governor.

Read more and watch the interview below the jump...

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Texas Border Community Leaders Fire Back At Gov. Rick Perry Over Troop Surge

by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

The surge of National Guard troops along the border at Governor Perry's behest has done wonders for his presidential aspirations -- rocketing him from statically insignificant to double digits in the latest GOP Primary polls -- but the local border community hasn't exactly jumped on the bandwagon.

Members of the business community and elected officials are among those who have criticized the militarization of the border. The concerns expressed include the impact on tourism, business recruitment and the perception that cities on the Texas-Mexico border are unsafe.

See below the jump why many see Perry's actions as little more than costly political theater...

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Rick Perry Signed Reduced Budget On DPS Border Security, Wants GOP To Kill Bill Addressing Crisis

by: Joe Deshotel

Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:06 PM CDT

Perry's biggest "oops" moment may not be that he couldn't remember the 3rd federal agency he'd like to nix as president, but that he signed a budget in 2013 that reduced the amount of state money allocated for border security to the DPS.

Today Rick Perry made the rounds on national TV to berate the White House over its handling of the border situation, but he also told Britt Hume of Fox News that he does not support Congress appropriating the $3.7 billion that President Obama has suggested to address the problem.

More on Perry's current budget cuts to border security below the jump...

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Why a Special Session Would Be Awkward For Rick Perry

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 07:18 PM CDT

It seems unlikely that Senator Wendy Davis and Tea Party Republican Jonathan Stickland would agree on something but the humanitarian crisis of thousands of unaccompanied children flooding across the Texas border has prompted them both to implore Governor Rick Perry to call a special session to address the issue.

So far Perry has not heeded that call, and it would probably not be good news for the Texas GOP or Perry's presidential aspirations if he did.

For starters, Perry is just finishing a round of cringe worthy appearances on national TV trying to explain his comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism, and his party's addition of "gay conversion therapy" to its platform. So, the last thing the Texas GOP needs right now is a deep examination of its immigration policy, which would surely be dominated by the most extreme and conservative members of the Tea Party.

See reason number 2 why Perry won't want to call a special session that could affect his run for the White House...

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What the Immigration Reform Bill Does

by: Edward Garris

Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

The United States Senate Thursday passed sweeping immigration reform with S. 744.  Formally called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," it was spearheaded by a bipartisan group of eight Senators known as the "Gang of Eight,:" and received resounding "no" votes from Texas' own Senators Cornyn and Cruz.

As Burnt Orange Report's Emily Cadik wrote on the bill's passage:

"In addition to the 13-year pathway to citizenship, the bill implements security benchmarks for those seeking green cards, bolsters border security, requires workplace verification for employers, and creates a new visa program for lesser-skilled workers. While it may not be a perfect bill, it's our best shot at allowing 11 million people working, living, learning and raising families in the U.S. a chance to come out of the shadows."

To see what happens with the bill next, read below the jump.

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Guest Post: Texans in Purgatory as Immigration Debate Begins

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM CDT

As Congress begins debate on comprehensive immigration reform, attorney Austin Kaplan brings us a guest post about why both Texas Senators and all of our Congressmembers need to support this reform.  

Texans in Purgatory as Immigration Debate Begins
By Austin Kaplan

Here is why everyone in Texas, especially our Senators, should support the bipartisan federal immigration bill that provides provisional status and a path to citizenship for undocumented people: unbeknownst to many Texans, more than an estimated 1 million undocumented people who live in Texas' Rio Grande Valley cannot leave it.  They are bounded in by internal highway "border" checkpoints - located miles north of the actual border on each highway leaving the Valley- at which every single car is stopped and its passengers questioned.  The effect of these checkpoints is to doom undocumented residents who already live here to a kind of Texas purgatory - they are neither fully in Mexico, nor fully in Texas.  They live in the Valley, which, for them, might as well be a third country.

The Valley is the southernmost portion of Texas, located along the 1,254 mile border with Mexico.  This is the longest border with Mexico of any state.  The border region, or bounded area in which checkpoints can operate, stretches as far as 100 miles north of the actual border.  So, it follows that Texas would have the largest population bounded in by function of checkpoints.  

Continue reading below the jump...  

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Rep. Gallego Speaks Out For Immigrants In Armed Services

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 04:30 PM CDT

When President Obama gave his 2nd inaugural speech announcing Comprehensive Immigration Reform as a top priority it became an opportunity for Texas Democrats to stand up and take a leadership role.

Congressman Pete Gallego (D-Alpine), whose district has the longest stretch of U.S. - Mexico border at 800 miles, accepted that challenge. Today Rep. Gallego spoke on the House floor in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- especially with regards to those serving in the armed forces. He wants to ensure the citizens of his district, which contains 5 ports of entry as well as 3 major military bases, are allowed to determine their own fate through "hard work", and not "circumstance".   The Senate's so called "Gang of Eight" has released details of their version of the plan on Tuesday.  

Watch the Congressman's speech on the floor and click the jump for the full transcript...  

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Rep. Gallego: Single Biggest Threat to Border Security Is Sequestration

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:18 PM CST

For weeks Congressional Republicans, including Texas' own Senator John Cornyn criticized the President's comprehensive immigration reform proposal because they thought border security should be the top priority. On Tuesday Rep. Pete Gallego who represents the longest stretch of Texas-Mexico in Congress made it clear that the single biggest threat to border security is actually sequestration. In his first floor speech he admonished Congress for its finger pointing on the issue and challenged members to work together to solve the nation's problems.

"In small town West Texas when there's a fire everyone works together to put the fire out and no one focuses on how the fire started or who started the fire until after the fire is out. Here and now in Washington many folks are more focused on who is to blame for the sequester than trying to do something about it." - Rep. Gallego

The Congressman characterized the across the board cuts as having both economic and national security implications, saying, "Not having a vote this week is a decision by some in Congress for decreased border security, job loss and furloughs, and it devastates local communities and the state of Texas." His district contains a number of strategic military bases including Ft. Bliss in El Paso and Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio that could face furloughs in the tens of thousands.

His office also released this handy infographic of the impact of sequestration on the US-Mexico border. You can follow him on twitter at @RepPeteGallego and see his house floor speech below the jump.

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