HOUSTON, Texas–Activist Texans are petitioning Texas Governor Rick Perry to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with the growing crisis on the Texas border with Mexico. The petition asks Gov. Perry to bring the Texas Legislature back into a forth special session to “develop and fund a border and port security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement.”
Over the Father’s Day weekend, many Texans gathered in a Facebook discussion thread to discuss the Texas Border Crisis and look for a solution. A conclusion of the discussion was that if the federal government was not going to secure the border then Texas can and should take the steps necessary to accomplish this task. The crisis came to a head earlier this month when Breitbart Texas released shocking photos depicting the deplorable living conditions of the recent surge in unaccompanied minors who are entering the country illegally in ever increasing numbers.
The idea grew out of a discussion involving a large number of people discussing the issue on Facebook. A spokesperson for the petition, Terri Hill, told Breitbart Texas that State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) joined in the conversation and said she has been working with the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Colonel Steve McCraw, to determine the cost of a sustained border security operation manned by Texas resources. Col. McCraw assured Riddle that Texas is capable of accomplishing the task of securing the border and executing the plan to achieve real results.
The cost is estimated to be approximately $1.3 million per week to secure the border ($67.8 million per year). The task now becomes, how to get the $67.8 million appropriated and put Col. McCraw and the Texas DPS to work. “I asked if a petition would help get the word out,” Hill said, “and help alert citizens to the severity of the matter and it was decided it would certainly be worth a shot.”
“We went right to work around 5:30 pm to create a petition,” Hill explained. “Mark Ramsey (Texas GOP State Republican Executive Committee member from Senate District 7) graciously provided the wording for the petition. I quickly wrote the preamble based on immigration information I knew so well, I could recite from memory.”
“Utilizing an online petition generator site,” Hill continued, “I created an account, entered our petition, made sure I included all the required information Representative Riddle said was necessary and we went live with it by 6:30 pm on Saturday evening.” The petition, Request for Immediate Texas Border Control, can be found online now. The petition states, “We, the undersigned, because the federal government has failed to act, call on the Texas Legislature to develop and fund a border and port of entry security plan utilizing state and local law enforcement.”
Hill explained that State Representative Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) joined in to the online discussion and was one of the first State Reps to express support for the petition idea. Breitbart Texas contacted Miller for his reaction to the grassroots effort to get Texas to secure our own border. “I fully support funding ALL law enforcement agencies, including DPS,” Miller began, “in meeting their requirements to secure the Texas border. If a special session of the legislature is required, I fully support the Governor taking this action.”
“We must fund the requirements as identified by DPS to do what we can here in Texas to secure the border if the Federal government is not going to act,” Miller concluded.
Hill is encouraging people from all over the United States to sign this petition. “The reason I think people from other states should sign the petition if they choose to is actually very simple,” Hill said. “Yes, the TX legislature is financially responsible to only the TX taxpayers. But this is an issue that reaches all across our nation. The ENTIRE country is depending on the leadership, the strength and the fortitude of Texans to save our nation.”
“While I certainly want the majority of the signers to be Texans, I see nothing wrong with have a clear record that this effort is supported across the entire US” she continued. “In fact, should Governor Perry decide to request assistance from other state guards, having signatures from those states will be influential leverage. Texas has an opportunity to not only stand up for Texans, but to quite honestly, preserve our nation.”
State Representatives Debbie Riddle and Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) joined with several other state legislators in meeting with Col. McCraw and Air Force Major General John Nichols (Adjutant General, Texas Military Forces) on Friday and over the weekend where they were briefed on the conditions along the border and the urgent need for an immediate solution.
“This is a national crisis,” Toth told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. While it is Texas that is the focal point of the current surge in illegal immigration, Toth said, “these people are being flown all over the country.”
Toth told Breitbart Texas there is no disagreement between the DPS’s Colonel McCraw and General Nichols about whether or not Texas can secure the border. Toth explained that it is expected that 140,000 illegal immigrants will be captured crossing the border this year and that 80% of them are what is referred to as OTMs (Other than Mexicans). Toth explained it is estimated law enforcement is capturing one in three illegal border crossers.
He said he believes the federal government is encouraging these people to come to the United States. He also believes the international drug cartels are also encouraging the swarm of illegal aliens as a distraction to law enforcement. “We are missing the drug smugglers, while the DPS and Border Patrol have to rescue people drowning in the Rio Grande River.”
The petition is gathering steam quickly. In approximately thirty hours over a holiday weekend, over 1,000 people had signed the petition.
Hill ended the interview with Breitbart Texas by saying, “We are simply a group of determined, patriotic Texans who work to find solutions that will serve in the best interests of our families, our communities, our state and our nation. If we don’t stand up to preserve our future, why should we expect anyone else to?”
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.