On a hot Summer day in July 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia to boldly declare that the thirteen American colonies would no longer be subject to the monarch of Britain. The ratification of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th is still celebrated today, over 200 years later, just as John Adams envisioned so many years ago --"It will be celebrated with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other."
What a blessing it is to live in a country that cherishes and celebrates freedom. This Independence Day, I hope you and your family take time to appreciate the many liberties we enjoy every day.
With that, here's this week's legislative update. . .
Over the last three sessions, the Texas Legislature has spent nearly $2.5 billion on increased security at the border. These significant investments came in response to inaction at the federal level to secure the border and take seriously the threats that posed to our state and country through illegal crossings, human trafficking, gang activity, and drug smuggling that continues to occur along our southern border with Mexico. For some perspective, in the last three weeks alone, more than 45,000 people have been apprehended in Texas crossing the border illegally. In the month of June, authorities have detained individuals from 52 different countries spanning all across the globe.
Even with our state's significant investment efforts, the crisis continues to escalate and demands further action. As such, the State of Texas recently deployed approximately 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents throughout the region. These brave men and women will provide supplemental staffing and support to the existing presence of federal, state, and local authorities working to maintain law and order in a challenging and volatile environment. Further, the State of Texas has arranged for 100 percent of the costs associated with this short-term mission to be covered by the federal government.
I strongly support the decisive action taken by Governor Abbott, as I believe that this increase in "boots on the ground" will provide much needed assistance to the ongoing security and humanitarian efforts currently underway. Ultimately, the state has a responsibility to keep our citizens and communities safe, while also ensuring the humane treatment of those seeking a better life here in America. Nevertheless, we must establish and preserve an improved immigration system that deters illegal immigration while promoting the legal process through which an individual may gain citizenship. I'm encouraged by our recent action, as I believe it represents a strong step in the right direction.
Mobile office on break
With a busy schedule of events in House District 57 throughout the month of July, the mobile office will suspend the regular Wednesday schedule until Aug. 7. For any questions you may have, or issues you need help resolving, please reach out to our District Director, Linda Parker. Our district office may be reached at 936-634-2762 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will make every effort to facilitate meetings and respond to your needs.