HOUSTON, Texas–State Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Cypress) called upon Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee Chairman Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) to add issues related to the Texas border crisis to the agenda of the committee’s meeting scheduled for July 1 in Austin. The committee hearing is set to deal with an interim charge assigned to the committee by House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) to “evaluate state and local entities’ effectiveness in meeting the state’s border and homeland security program goals and objectives.”
“What is happening along the border must be addressed and disclosed to the public,” Fletcher said in a letter to Pickett obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Although border security is a federal issue, it is a problem facing Texas. It is straining our state resources and affecting our citizens.”
In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Fletcher said he doesn’t believe a special session is necessary to accomplish the goal of putting Texas resources to work along the border and to obtain operational control of the border. In the letter to Pickett, Fletcher said, “Action is needed, but a special session may not be necessary. First and foremost, as you know, special sessions cost Texas taxpayers millions of dollars. In addition, much of the action during a special session occurs in the committee room, which can take place outside of a special session.”
“Holding committee hearings will allow us determine if new law is appropriate,” Fletcher concluded. “Once that is accomplished, a decision can be made about whether a special session is necessary. There are many questions that need to be answered about the mounting border crisis. Addressing this at an upcoming hearing will allow us to take the first step in answering these questions.”
Pickett, a Democrat, was appointed Chairman of Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee at the beginning of the 2013 Legislative Session by Speaker Straus. Fletcher, who is the only retired peace officer in the Texas Legislature, was re-appointed as vice-chairman.
The call from Fletcher comes on the heels of the revelation by Breitbart Texas of the thousands of children being held in inhumane conditions in federal detention facilities in South Texas. The photos have sent shockwaves around the world and have brought the issue of securing our southern border to a crisis point now recognized across the country.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.