Senator Van Taylor Backs Governor Abbott On Recently Announced Border Security Measures
PLANO - State Senator Van Taylor today backed Governor Greg Abbott in his announcement of new measures to enhance border security and combat the escalation of illegal crossings along Texas' southern border.
This announcement comes as reports of apprehensions along the Texas border through October and November are on average two to three times higher than last year. In the Big Bend sector, unaccompanied minor arrivals for that period has increased almost tenfold. In the Rio Grande sector, it doubled from 3,219 to 6,465, according to U.S. Border Patrol Data.
Governor Abbott said in a statement, "In September, I warned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson 'about the significant increase in unaccompanied minors who are once again pouring across our border. I asked for his 'immediate and bold action to prevent this from escalating into an uncontrollable crisis.' Despite the warning – followed by a phone discussion about the matter – my request for more border patrol agents and strategic resources to secure the border were ignored. Now, the concern I warned about has turned into reality: A substantial spike in illegal crossings has occurred at a particularly unsuspecting time, once again challenging Texas' security and resources. The Federal Government compounded its negligence by failing to give advance notice so that the state and local governments could prepare for the Obama administration’s unilateral decision to relocate nearly a thousand foreign nationals in Texas."
A strong proponent of increased border security measures and vocal critic of President Obama's proposed amnesty policies, Senator Van Taylor immediately backed Governor Abbott stating, "The misguided policies of President Obama have enticed tens of thousands of young children to leave their family and engender risks no child should endure, while at the same time leaving our state vulnerable to drug cartels, human traffickers, and potential terrorist threats. I will continue to make border security a top priority and I applaud Governor Abbott for taking meaningful action to combat illegal border crossings. In the face of Washington inaction, the state of Texas must fully commit to securing our border, protecting our citizens, and not yielding one inch of Texas land to the drug cartels."
Governor Abbott today announced he is taking the following actions to combat illegal border crossings:
· Extend the deployment of the National Guard troops at strategic locations on the border intended to reduce illegal
· Instruct the Texas Department of Public Safety to coordinate with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to increase
the number of boats and tactical officers at strategic locations on the Rio Grande River;
· Instruct the Department of Public Safety to increase aerial observation missions to aid interdiction efforts;
· Award Grants to support the Border Prosecution Unit;
· Provide Grants to Ellis and Rockwall Counties to aid their efforts to respond to the unexpected relocation of
unaccompanied minors to their counties.
· Re-urge the Department of Homeland Security to increase border patrol agents in Texas.
Last session, Senator Van Taylor authored and passed SB 850, The National Guard Personal Protection Act, granting Texas military personnel legal safeguards to protect themselves while being called upon to serve our state. Currently, when mobilized by presidential deployment, federal law grants military forces legal safeguards for the use force to protect themselves, or others, while serving on that operation. However, prior to the passage of SB 850, those same safeguards are not granted to military personnel on state sponsored deployment.
After passing the National Guard Personal Protection Act, Senator Taylor stated, "Every day our state is asking our Texas National Guard to leave their families and put their lives on the line to help secure our border and keep us safe. The very least we can do is give our Texas military forces the legal protection to defend themselves."
As a United States Marine, Senator Taylor served on the U.S. / Mexico border as part of Joint Task Force 6. Last year, Taylor visited the border where he was briefed on the surge operation by DPS Director Steve McCraw and was able to see the impact firsthand.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of the Nominations Committee and also as a member of the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.
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