BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition says it has “mutual goals” to those espoused by Gov. Greg Abbott on the issues of immigration and border security.
TBC, which represents communities from El Paso to Brownsville, has asked Abbott to approve the setting up of a border security working group to “advance the teamwork in working with you and your office that is essential to achieving our mutual goals.”
The request was made in the form of a letter sent to the governor by Eddie Treviño, Jr., chairman of the Texas Border Coalition and county judge for Cameron County, Texas.
Copies of the letter were sent to the Department Homlane Security, Texas’ two U.S. senators, the Texas Border Congressional Caucus, and the Texas Border Legislative Delegation.
“The communities that make up the Texas Border Coalition have forged a strong consensus on both the need to secure our border and to approach border security from a point of view of practicality and effectiveness,” Treviño wrote.
“As local leaders, we deal with border security in a real world, practical environment every day, and our proximity to the problem provides us with insights that we have shared with the past and present state and federal officials.”
Treviño (pictured above) said TBC and border leaders “support the construction of fences” where appropriate and effective, such as at land ports of entry on the U.S. border with Mexico. However, he said, where border fences are ineffective, “we support alternatives that involve increased investments in staffing, technology and infrastructure, such as detection towers, tethered aerostat radar systems, roads connecting the LPOEs, 24-hour boat patrols and Carrizo cane control.”
Treviño emphasized: “Most importantly, improved border security demands a comprehensive plan that can only be developed by way of constructive dialogue and increased coordination among the leadership at the local, state and federal levels.”
The letter went to on question some of the border security plans Abbott recently announced.
“There are practical issues that will need to be overcome to implement the plans you have announced. The strategy to arrest border crossers for trespassing will need both complainants and jail space,” Treviño wrote.
“The strategy to build new border fencing will need both land and permits from multiple layers of government, from localities to the International Boundary and Water Commission. To be effective, any possible fencing will need to target those areas where it would be practical and effective.”
Then there is the issue of immigration policy.
“Until foundational issues that involve the push and pull of migration are addressed, this strategic approach (of the State of Texas building a new border wall) will continue to address only symptoms and not solve the problem,” Treviño wrote.
“Solutions should involve dealing with violence, poverty and corruption in the nations from which migrants are leaving. Comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration law should provide for an effective guest worker program, an earned legalization program and a consistent humanitarian policy toward refugees and asylum seekers.”
Abbott has not stressed any of these factors in his recent remarks. He has focused on building a new border wall, with the State of Texas making a downpayment of $250 million, and arresting undocumented migrants that scale the wall.
“We believe the solution to border security is to be found in cooperation among local, state and federal leaders,” Treviño wrote.
“With your consent, the Texas Border Coalition is prepared to organize the discussion of a border security working group to advance the teamwork in working with you and your office that is essential to achieving our mutual goals.”
He added: “We look forward to your response and a continued dialogue on these issues critical to our region and state.”
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