COLUMN: Lt. Governor Patrick on Letter to President Obama
AUSTIN – Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick sent this letter to President Barack Obama and the Texas Congressional delegation urging swift action on securing our border.
Dear President Obama:
As a result of the failed immigration and border security policies of your administration, the state of Texas continues to shoulder the burden of securing the Texas border. It is the primary responsibility of the federal government and the President to secure our border and apprehend dangerous drug and weapons smugglers, human traffickers and illegal unaccompanied minors who continue to surge across our border. However, because you and your administration have abdicated your constitutionally-mandated duty and failed to stop this perilous and inhumane illegal migration, Texas and its taxpayers have been saddled with this effort to protect national and state security.
During a recent state legislative hearing on border security, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw testified that over a four year period more than 174,000 illegal aliens have been arrested and booked into Texas jails. These criminals have been charged with more than 460,000 violations.
Moreover, in an effort to protect Texans from a possible national security threat the state of
Texas was forced to file a lawsuit to obtain information from the federal government about
Syrian refugees being resettled in Texas. This information should have been readily available without the legal effort or expense.
The U.S. Border Patrol also reports that apprehensions of unaccompanied minors are already two times higher than last year during the same period, and in some sectors the number of apprehensions is almost tenfold.
Further, at a time of heightened security concerns, the number of "family unit apprehensions" has tripled in the past year, and there is no way to know if the adults and children apprehended are even related. Although these family units are issued a court date, all too often they fail to appear in court and simply disappear somewhere within our nation's borders.
The federal government has failed to stop this illegal migration across the U.S. border, in fact, incentivizing this humanitarian tragedy, forcing children to take a life-threatening journey. For those who survive the dangerous trek, Texas is forced to burden our communities, charitable partners, and state resources to accommodate the outcome of your own inaction.
Texas will continue to lead in strengthening our border and protecting our residents while the federal government dismally fails to uphold its constitutionally-mandated duty to secure the border. During the remainder of your term in office, I urge you to change course and for the first time make a full commitment to work with Texas to secure our border, prevent illegal immigration and keep potential terrorists from entering our country. National security starts with border security and border security begins in Texas.