Texas Senate to Feds: Secure the Border and Pay Up

Texas River Boat - Mission Texas
Breitbart Texas - Bob Price

Texas State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed a resolution to express the 84th Texas Legislature’s dissatisfaction with the federal government for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. Additionally, the resolution demands reimbursement for the money spent by Texas taxpayers during last year’s border surge.

“This resolution (SCR 5 attached below) respectfully demands the United States Congress reimburse the state of Texas for the amount of non-federal money it appropriated to secure the Texas-Mexico international border,” Sen. Estes told Breitbart Texas in response to an inquiry. “As Ronald Reagan once said, ‘a nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.’ Because the federal government has neglected its responsibility, our border with Mexico has been increasingly exploited by smugglers, human traffickers, and violent drug cartels.”

“In other words,” the Senator continued, “the federal government has consistently chosen not to do its job. As a result, we have been forced to appropriate a great deal of state funding to maintain border security and protect the citizens of Texas. This resolution would ‘invoice’ the federal government for that money.”

The U.S. Constitution clearly places the responsibility of securing our nation’s borders on the federal government. Immigration and naturalization powers are also delegated to the feds.  However, the State of Texas has primary responsibility for the security of Texans. “The federal government has caused this crisis at the border,” Estes said in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Their failure to enforce current law has placed an undue burden on the taxpayers of Texas to keep our border secure. It’s time they repay us for the tax dollars we have spent addressing problems they have created.”

When the resolution is passed it will be sent to the President of the United States, the President of the U.S. Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and all member of the Texas Congressional Delegation.

Texas expended vast amounts of Texas taxpayer resources in the Operation Strong Safety border surge implemented by Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus. That program is continuing this year and will be addressed in more detail during the legislative session. Breitbart Texas provided extensive coverage of this operation.

The operation began with the surge of additional Texas Department of Public Safety troopers along the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the border region. This was followed up with a deployment of up to 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard. In November, Breitbart Texas reported the State’s announcement that it would scale back the National Guard presence along the border and reallocate those resources to technology solutions and additional law enforcement resources. It was also announced the coverage would be expanded through October, 2015, and would cover the entire Texas border.

In July, 2014, Breitbart’s Ken Klukowski reported the estimated cost of the National Guard portion of Operation Strong Safety to be approximately $12 million per month. The DPS portion of the operation was estimated to cost taxpayers $1.3 million per week. This resolution will politely demand the federal government’s reimbursement for these expenses.

Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.