Two days before they take the stage to debate in Dallas, Republican gubernatorial candidates are rolling out their plans for what will assuredly be a featured topic.
“Border security is one of the most important issues to Republican voters, so it will definitely be in the debate,” says Joe Pounder, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Hutchison's opponent Debra Medina is the first out of the gate. She rolled out her plan this morning. It includes, among other items, making sure sufficient Texas National Guard and Texas State Guard members are active to support local law enforcement, notifying Mexican authorities that no entry will be allowed without proper documentation, and an assurance that “Debra Medina will interpose, support nullification and declare unconstitutional all international treaties [like NAFTA] that violate Texas state sovereignty.”
The full press released is available for your perusal if you look to your right.
Hutchison will be unveiling her plan for border security in Longview and Houston this afternoon. Her campaign says it “builds on her strong record of quadrupling the number of Border Patrol agents, supporting a border fence and voting to create the 287(g) program to train local law enforcement to help enforce immigration laws.”
Check back for more details on Hutchison's plan this afternoon. (See the update below)
Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry's spokesman Mark Miner says, "Border Security is another issue where Sen. Hutchison has failed to provide leadership." In a preemptive press release, he contrasts the "failed" border response of the federal government with Perry's approach, which has included urging the federal government to "approve his request for 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen to support civilian law enforcement efforts to enhance border security in Texas," and fighting to "fund and utilize innovative technology to support border security strategies which include the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition’s Virtual Border Watch program."
On the Democratic side, Farouk Shami will be unveiling his plan to address border security at an event in El Paso tomorrow at 3 p.m. CST.
UPDATE: "Despite his election-year rhetoric, Rick Perry has failed to avail himself of common sense solutions to secure our borders," Hutchison said in a release following her campaign event at which she said border security would be a "top priority" of her administration. Her plan includes requiring employment eligibility verification and allowing retired law enforcement and military officers to assist border security efforts.
"Many rightly perceive that Texas has a growing number of ‘sanctuary’ cities where a blind eye is turned to those who would undermine the integrity of our borders," she said. "When I am governor, state law enforcement will aid federal efforts to enforce our border security laws, through adopting 287(g) agreements." Read the full rundown here.