HOUSTON – Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, released the following statement seeking emergency action by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House for emergency funding for border security:
“I’ve focused on the importance of border security since I joined the Texas Senate in 2007. I’ve been criticized by Democrats for talking about the overwhelming number of people illegally crossing into Texas, the potential for disease being brought into our state, the number of hardened criminals crossing our border, and the possibility of terrorists coming into Texas.
“Over the past few weeks the lack of security along our Texas Border has been exposed for all to see. Thousands of unaccompanied children and teens, along with adults, are swarming into Texas. Currently, the federal Immigration Statistics Office has increased the estimated number of unaccompanied children projected for this year up from 60,000 to 90,000. Two years ago 11,000 unaccompanied teens and children crossed the Border illegally.
“There are many concerns about the latest influx of illegal aliens, including the health impact to our state. Chris Cabrera of the U.S Border Patrol says, “agents are worried about illegal immigrants coming over with contagious infections. We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses,” Cabrera said. He went on to say that the U.S Border Patrol is overwhelmed.
“The state is making sure each child is vaccinated, but our overall resources are being stretched to the limit. If we have a major hurricane this summer requiring mass evacuations our own citizens they may not be able to get the help they need because of this latest crisis.
“There are many theories about why the wave is hitting Texas now. Some say Obama Administration policies are to blame; others believe the current wave is orchestrated by the drug cartels. Nevertheless, we are overwhelmed by the current humanitarian crisis and our border is less secure than ever to the drug cartels, human traffickers, and potential terrorist activities.
“As a member of the Texas Senate I am calling on the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House to take immediate action.
“The Texas Department of Public Safety has indicated that sustained operations along our southern border will require $1.3 million per week. I am calling on the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House to immediately allocate $1.3 million a week in emergency spending for the rest of the year for added border security through Texas law enforcement.
“In January 2015 the legislature must take up border security as the first priority of the new session. As Lt Governor, I will insist our budget funds border security at levels recommended by Texas Law enforcement on a 24/7/365 day basis. We must do all we can to protect Texans until Washington meets its responsibility to secure our border and pass responsible legal immigration reform, which brings an end to illegal immigration.