Texas lawmakers propose border security agreements with other states


State Rep. David Spiller (R-Jacksboro) and Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) introduced bills to authorize an interstate compact for enhanced security and operational control over the southern border.

“On behalf of this state, the governor shall: (1) coordinate, develop, and execute an interstate compact for border security among interested states; and (2) seek the approval of the United States Congress for the compact,” Hall’s bill reads.

A key difference between Hall’s proposal and Spiller’s is the former requires the governor to create a border security compact, but the latter says he “may” do so. Each version stipulates that the border security compact would require the approval of the U.S. Congress.

Proponents of strong border security have urged Gov. Greg Abbott to invoke the invasion clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions to justify more aggressive measures. Meanwhile, critics contend that it is a waste of resources and has had little impact on illegal immigration.

There were 1.5 million encounters with illegal aliens in Texas border patrol sectors in Fiscal Year 2022.

The U.S. Constitution reads in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

Abbott has not directed state officials to perform deportations, which could result in prosecution by the U.S. government. The governor has instead taken many other steps, such as deploying the Texas National Guard and forming border security agreements with the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, and Coahuila.

The states of Florida and Arizona have been among those that have contributed to Texas’ efforts against illegal immigration. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent National Guardsmen and Arizona entered into an agreement with the Lone Star State to bolster border security.

According to Abbott’s office, the state has allocated $4 billion for border security efforts since the beginning of Operation Lone Star. During a special session last year, the Legislature appropriated an additional $1.2 billion, which included border wall funding that received bipartisan support.

Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) also introduced a bill this month to complete former President Trump’s border wall project and name it after the former president. Slaton previously filed the same proposal during the 87th Legislature.

He also filed legislation for the 88th Legislature to create a criminal statute prohibiting trespass on private property by an illegal alien.

Trump announced his candidacy for president last week and Twitter, now owned by Elon Musk, reinstated his account after the company’s previous leadership permanently suspended it after the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Monday, November 14 was the first day for Texas lawmakers to file bills for the upcoming session.

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