Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation applauded the passage of House Bill 7, a crucial piece of legislation that will protect Texan communities as well as bring Texas closer to regaining control of its border. TPPF CEO Greg Sindelar released the following statement:

“HB 7 creates several programs meant to address issues resulting from the ongoing crisis at our southern border. Notably, it creates a grant program for border-region courts facing an increase in border-related offenses such as illegal entry, human or contraband smuggling, or transnational cartel operations; funding mechanisms for court, processing, and detention facilities, as well as border security infrastructure; and a program for border property damage compensation. The bill also establishes reporting requirements.

“Importantly, HB 7 creates the Border Protection Unit, a special law enforcement unit under the Public Safety Commission that would have the ability to deter and repel illegal entrants and return them to Mexico. The creation of this law enforcement unit is a crucial first step in asserting Texas’ right to defend itself against the crimes perpetrated by the Mexican drug cartels not just in Mexico anymore but also in Texas, including but not limited to human trafficking, recruitment of American youth for human smuggling, lethal drug trafficking and poisoning, and trespassing on and damage to Texan properties on American soil.

“There is still much work to be done to secure our southern border, but HB 7 and the existence of the Border Protection Unit constitute a significant first step.

“Texas cannot expect the federal government to fulfill its constitutional duty to secure the border, which it has failed to do for the past two years. Texas must continue to lead, and as a result, we look forward to HB 7 moving swiftly through the Texas Senate.”