Following the surge of migrant children crossing the Texas-Mexico border in 2014, the 84th Legislative Session was a crucial one for border security. TCC Members authored and helped to pass House Bill 11, which increases over two years the number of Texas Department of Public Safety officers on the border, establishes a catch-all intelligence center in Hidalgo County to analyze border crime data, and creates a voluntary corps of retired DPS officers to bolster the agency’s ranks. The bill also:
- Increases penalties for human smuggling
- Requires DPS to assist federal authorities at southbound checkpoints at the border to screen for guns and illicit cash headed to Mexico
- Requires the Texas Attorney General to create a division within the agency that prosecute transnational crime
- Authorizes commissioned law enforcement officials to work longer hours.
To fund these and other border security efforts, the state budget contains an unprecedented $800 million for border security efforts and operations.
TCC members kept their Pledge to secure the border.