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Posts Tagged ‘border’

Texas Lyceum poll on immigration

Our state has more nuanced views than you might think. The pollsters found that 62 percent of Texans said immigration helps the United States more than it hurts the country. That’s an increase from 2016, when 54 percent of the respondents said they viewed immigration was more beneficial than harmful. The pollsters defined “sanctuary” entities […]

Border walls are bad for the environment

Not that anyone pushing for a border wall cares, but just so you know. There’s been a lot of debate about how effective the Bush-era barrier has been at keeping out illegal crossers and drug smugglers. Some data indicates the barriers have encouraged people to cross in places where there isn’t one. But the handprints […]

The Observer talks to Rep. Beto O’Rourke

I wish this were longer, and I’d have definitely asked about how he plans to win a Senate election in 2018, if indeed he does run, but it’s worth reading nonetheless. You mentioned how incredibly expensive congressional elections have become. Do you see this as a real barrier to reform? I remember my first official […]

Dan Patrick and the wall tax

Hey, you know who’s going to pay for Dear Leader’s wall? You and me and everyone else in the country. The Trump administration sparked widespread surprise Thursday by announcing it intended to implement a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for a coming border wall — followed by extreme confusion when it appeared […]

Abbott goes authoritarian

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, but it is still shocking, even in the world we now inhabit. Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he and state lawmakers will pursue legislation that would “remove from office any officeholder who promotes sanctuary cities,” raising a new consequence as Republicans crack down on local officials who do […]

The coming legislative border battle

Here we go again. House Republicans on Wednesday said they aren’t backing away from recent efforts to secure the southern border despite an incoming president who made beefed-up immigration enforcement a hallmark of his campaign. And as a final admonishment of President Obama, they said they intended to bill the federal government more than $2.8 […]

Fifth Circuit hears immigrant harboring lawsuit appeal

This time it’s the state that’s appealing a lower court ruling. A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether a key portion of Texas’ omnibus border security bill is legal. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that two landlords, and an immigrant services agency, who sued the state over […]

Immigrant harboring law blocked

Good. A federal judge has blocked part of the state’s omnibus border security bill that makes harboring undocumented immigrants a state crime. Under a provision of House Bill 11, which went into effect in September, a person commits a crime if they “encourage or induce a person to enter or remain in this country in […]

MALDEF sues over provision of border bill

Worth watching. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, filed suit Sunday against Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and the Texas Public Safety Commission, which oversees the DPS. The group alleges that the state has violated the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause because immigration enforcement is only […]

Senate hearings on “border security”

Sen. Sylvia Garcia sent me the following to alert people of some Senate committee hearings of interest: Joint Committee on Border Security is Thursday, January 21 at 1pm at Capitol Extension, E1.030. This is a joint Senate & House Committee to review border security efforts and the spending of the $810M budgeted for it. Though […]

Current trends in Texas immigration

More Asian, less Latino is the nickel summary. The number of Latin Americans moving to Texas from abroad and other states has dropped by almost a quarter as the amount of Asians coming here doubled, offsetting the decline and echoing national trends, according to a report released [recently] by the state demographer’s office. Nearly 93,000 […]

Nothing says “holiday season” like immigration raids

How festive. Immigration agents are planning to round up Central American families that have been ordered deported by a judge in response to an unexpected surge in children and families crossing the border in South Texas, a former high-ranking immigration official said Thursday. Alonzo Peña, the deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in […]

Carrizo cane and French wasps

I love stories like this. They’ve burned it, bulldozed it, hacked it and poisoned it. Now they want to try wasps – imported from France, no less. The target is carrizo cane, a bamboo-like reed that’s a fearsome enemy of officers patrolling the Texas-Mexico border. Dense stands have camouflaged stash houses, half-ton steers and a […]

Immigration bills fail

Another thing to celebrate from this session. As the sun begins to set on the 84th Texas Legislature, promises to enact tough immigration legislation remain unfulfilled. State Sen. Donna Campbell says she’s not giving up just because the last gavel is about to drop. Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican, tried unsuccessfully to pass Senate Bill […]

Budget passes House as most amendments get pulled

It was a long day in the House on Tuesday and Wednesday but not a terribly bloody one as many of the budget amendments and riders that had been queued up got withdrawn. A brief recap of the action: Border “security”: House Democrats tried — and mostly failed — to divert funds allotted for border […]

The Senate’s opening budget

Could be worse, I guess. Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson presented a $205.1 billion two-year base budget Tuesday morning, vowing to provide property tax cuts that Texans “actually feel” while keeping the state’s economy humming along. The Senate budget is $3 billion larger than the $202.4 billion House budget that Speaker Joe Straus released nearly […]

What’s the Lege going to do with the revenue?

Not as much as it should, of course, because the Lege never comes close to doing as much as it should. It’s a question of whether they’ll try to address some real problems, or just engage in an orgy of tax cutting. Texans can expect tax relief, a laser focus on border security and more […]

Perry’s border surge

Stupid. Gov. Rick Perry, leaping again into the national spotlight on illegal immigration, announced Monday he is sending up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border, where an influx of young Central Americans has overwhelmed the federal government. Democrats blasted the decision as a political stunt by a governor with presidential ambitions. But […]

The real reason we need border security

To protect us from these guys. Several anti-government groups – many of which participated in the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch – are recruiting armed volunteers to travel to the Texas-Mexico border as a citizen militia to participate in “Operation Secure Our Border,” which aims to stop the surge of immigrants into the country. […]

Special session for border security?

What could possibly go wrong? State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas. “The Texas Department of Public Safety has indicated that sustained operations along our southern border will require […]

Abbott’s border surge plan

A whole lot of not much here. Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, said Tuesday he wants to nearly double state spending to improve security along the U.S.-Mexico border, proposing a “continuous surge” with 1,000 new boots on the ground and millions of dollars worth of high-tech equipment. The proposal, dubbed his […]

Outsourcing Texas border security

What could possibly go wrong? A little-known private defense contractor from Virginia has quietly received about $20 million under a series of no-bid contracts with the State of Texas to develop its border security strategies, an effort that included shaping the state’s public message on the increasingly controversial nature and extent of violence spilling into […]

Sheriffs not sold on Arizona immigration bill

Texas’ sheriffs are not very enthusiastic about being charged with enforcing federal immigration laws. Texas has 254 sheriffs, and while opinions vary about whether illegal immigration should be their problem, some Republicans are pushing measures that won’t give them a choice. More than a dozen bills targeting illegal immigration await the Legislature when it convenes […]

Don’t fall for it, Mr. President

I have two things to say about this. Congressional Republicans are pronouncing President Obama’s proposal that the next Congress overhaul the country’s immigration laws as dead before arrival. In his year-end news conference Wednesday, Obama said his biggest regret about the recent lame-duck session of Congress was the defeat of the DREAM Act, a measure […]

Will Texas make like Arizona?

If there’s been one small positive thing about the ridiculous Arizona anti-immigrant law, it’s been to remind the rest of the country that states besides Texas do crazy, inexplicable things as well. And I do believe that there’s a reason to be optimistic that in the end, people will learn that this was a terribly […]

How much would you pay for those border cameras?

Remember all those border cameras Rick Perry wanted to install so ordinary citizens in the comfort of their living rooms could help catch people entering the country illegally? How have they worked out? Perry has invested a total of $4 million of federal grant money that he controls in the Texas Border Watch Program. Twenty-nine […]

Perry’s border shenanigans

It’s an election year, and that means it’s time once again for Rick Perry to pay attention to Texas’ border communities, by which I mean “grandstand about drug violence”. I recommend you read these BOR posts for a sense of what’s going on. It’s fascinating to see Perry call in the helicopters while simultaneously making […]

Bye bye, border fence funds

Good riddance. A provision to build an additional 300 miles of pedestrian fence along the U.S.-Mexico border has been stripped out of a $42.8 billion spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The provision by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., was removed at the behest of House members from Texas, Arizona and California who called […]

Corruption on the border

Very interesting article from the AP about official corruption along the US-Mexico border. An Associated Press investigation has found U.S. law officers who work the border are being charged with criminal corruption in numbers not seen before, as drug and immigrant smugglers use money and sometimes sex to buy protection, and internal investigators crack down. […]

Virtual border fence: Still a failure

Our Governor in action. Gov. Rick Perry’s border Web camera program has run out of money, and in its first full year of operation failed to meet nearly every law enforcement goal. Last year, Perry gave the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition a $2 million federal grant to install cameras along the U.S.-Mexico border and broadcast […]

The border camera boondoggle blues

Your tax dollars at work, courtesy of Governor Perry. A virtual border surveillance program Gov. Rick Perry has committed millions of taxpayer dollars to fell far short of expectations during the first six months of operation. Border sheriffs, who Perry gave $2 million to line the Texas-Mexico border with hundreds of Web cameras, installed only […]