The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Secure and Sovereign Texas campaign announced its border security and immigration policy priorities for the 2025 89th Texas Legislative Session.  The SST campaign focuses on protecting Texas communities, ensuring Texas has the resources for a strong southern border, and defending state sovereignty and authority.

“Texas is ground zero for the immigration and border security crisis caused by President Biden’s refusal to enforce the law,” said SST Campaign Director Selene Rodriguez. “Texas has every right to protect its people and property, and it will be aggressive in asserting its constitutional authority to combat the cartel-driven human and drug-trafficking. As long as the federal government refuses to act, Texas will step up to defend itself.”

The policy priorities for the Texas Legislative Session include:

Create a Border Force: The federal government’s lax policies on immigration and Mexican cartels have created a border crisis without precedent in American history and have left Texas no option but to step in to secure its border and protect Texas communities. Texas should create a new law enforcement unit dedicated to fighting the threats coming from the border, with a command structure that can plan, coordinate, and execute border security and counterterrorism operations in Texas.

Support the Texas Military Department: Ensure the Texas Military Department has the necessary resources to face the threats coming from our southwest border and respond to natural disasters. Texas should support reforms that would enable the Texas Military Department to better fulfill its mission of protecting Texas security and sovereignty.

Require Law Enforcement to Determine and Communicate Immigration Status: Currently, law enforcement in Texas does not have to inquire about the legal status of someone they stop, detain, or arrest, even if they suspect the person is in the country illegally. Requiring law enforcement to do so would empower them to help the federal government fulfill its responsibility and potentially catch dangerous illegal aliens who have entered the country undetected.

Implement E-Verify in Texas: E-Verify is the federal electronic verification system that verifies a worker’s eligibility to work in the United States. The Texas Legislature has passed laws requiring state employees, state contractors and subcontractors, and new employees of sexually oriented businesses to use E-Verify. Texas should enact legislation requiring all political subdivisions in the state, including counties, municipalities, and government-funded educational institutions, to use the system.

Create Texas Engel List for Foreign Corruption: Mexico is among the five most corrupt countries in the world — and many other countries have similar issues — yet a federal list that tracks and sanctions corrupt foreign actors only targets four Latin American countries, which do not include Mexico. Texas should create a similar list at the state level, which will send a strong message to foreign corrupt actors that Texas will not tolerate corruption in Texas, and that, within constitutional bounds, we will sanction such actors.

Resource Local Court for Migrant Processing: Some local courts are likely to face an increased number of cases when the 88th Texas Legislature’s Senate Bill 4, which creates a new state offense for entering or reentering the state from a foreign nation illegally, becomes effective. Texas should ensure local courts have the resources to quickly prosecute additional cases they will face due to the crisis.