MCALLEN, Texas–Texas State Senator Wendy Davis joined with some of Texas’ most conservative Republican state legislators in calling for Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) to call a special session of the legislature to deal with the Texas border crisis. The “me too” call from Davis comes on the heels of Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R-TX) and Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) directing the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to execute a border surge of law enforcement assets to respond to the flood of illegal immigrants entering Texas.
In spite of the fact that Davis’ website says nothing about border security or illegal immigration, she is suddenly taking a hawkish stand on border security. “The situation is untenable,” David said in a letter to Gov. Perry. “Federal border agents and facilities are overwhelmed trying to address this human crisis instead of focusing on their first priority to secure our border from drug smugglers, human traffickers and terrorists. You took a solid step, which I support, to address that by increasing support to the Department of Public Safety to help along the border.”
“If Sen. Davis truly agrees with Gov. Perry that it is the federal government’s responsibility to secure the border,” Perry’s spokesman Travis Considine responded to the Texas Tribune, “she should forward a copy of her letter to her friend and political ally in Washington, President Obama.” He said Davis has been “conspicuous by her absence” on the border security issue.
Davis’ letter lays out four points to Gov. Perry:
1) Declare a state of emergency. As much as any natural disaster, this is a human one that requires all the focus and energy possible of our state government. A declaration of state emergency on your part, as governor, will provide communities with the essential resources, supplies, emergency services and facilities they need without further delay.
Just as we help communities in the aftermath of wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters, we can and should help our border communities during this crisis.
2) Call an immediate emergency special session of the Texas Legislature. In the absence of federal action, local communities need state assistance. The purpose of this session will be to hear from first responders – city and county officials, police, fire, EMS, public health leaders and the faith based organizations – on the challenges they face; assess those needs; and pass emergency appropriations to provide local agencies with the resources they need in order to do their job in protecting local communities and provide appropriate care for these individuals and families.
3) Request additional immigration judges immediately. I agree that this is a federal issue. While I believe it is imperative for the state to act in the short-term, we need the federal government to do its job – including sending more immigration judges to the border. To that end, we should call on the Obama Administration to provide a sufficient number of judges so that those processed by the border patrol will receive an immediate hearing on their immigration requests and, where appropriate, be repatriated to their native country. Given the scale and scope of this emergency, I believe that this is the best approach, rather than releasing these individuals and their families at the local bus station with a hearing set several months in the future. We should vigorously advocate this approach with federal officials.
4) Send the state/local bill to the federal government. We should also sponsor and vigorously support a joint resolution calling for the federal government to pay for any and all emergency funds spent by state and local authorities to address this emergency.
Democrat State Rep. Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo) seemed to take issue with Davis’ call for a state of emergency declaration. The Tribune reports Raymond saying he understood local officials might have concerns about the “emergency” label, and that it could have a negative connotation and affect the area’s image and economy.
Breitbart Texas has been providing extensive coverage of the growing Texas border crisis including exclusive photographs of the unaccompanied children being captured and warehoused in federal detention facilities in South Texas and across the nation.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.