AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the Texas Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 2, State Authority to Enforce the Border, and Senate Bill 8, Texas Border Force, both by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and House Bill 2, Increasing Penalties Against Stash Houses and Human Smuggling, by Sen. Pete Flores, R-Pleasanton:
“Texans are fed up with the Biden Administration’s abdication of their constitutional responsibility to enforce our southern border. The Texas Senate appropriated $5.1 billion of Texans’ tax dollars to secure the border, the most in Texas history, to step into the breach created by Biden, Harris and Mayorkas. In addition, the creation of the Texas Border Force will further bolster our historic efforts to keep Texas safe.
“The Texas Senate is in Austin working diligently to address the priorities of Texans, including these critical bills. The Senate will pass these bills over and over again in every special session until the Texas House returns from their vacation.”
SB 2, by Sen. Brian Birdwell, creates a new state crime for entering Texas illegally. SB 2 authorizes Texas law enforcement to arrest and prosecute all people who cross the border illegally anywhere in Texas. Punishment starts with up to 1 year in jail for a first-time offender, two years in state jail for a second-time offender and up to life in prison for convicted felons who illegally cross the border.
SB 8, by Sen. Brian Birdwell, establishes the Texas Border Force in the Texas Rangers division of the Texas Department of Public Safety and provides important tools for the state to fight transnational crime.
HB 2, by Sen. Pete Flores, provides mandatory minimum sentences for the operation of stash houses and for human smuggling, and increases penalties for these crimes committed during a disaster declaration.