Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst released a list today of border security-related issues he wants Senate committees to consider during the interim.
Emphasizing the need to stop “deadly spillover violence” from Mexico, Dewhurst charged the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee with studying the effect of border violence and trafficking on the state’s economy, including the “infringement on property rights.” Dewhurst, who is running for the U.S. Senate, added that Texas is filling in holes the federal government has neglected.
"Washington has failed to live up to their Constitutional duty to secure our borders, but Texas has done our part," Dewhurst said in a statement. "Since 2006, the Texas Legislature has dedicated over $400 million to improve border security, including additional Department of Public Safety officers, helicopters and patrol vehicles."
The lieutenant governor also wants the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee to join the transportation committee to examine how the state’s military forces can expand their statewide security roles.
The Criminal Justice Committee has been charged with reviewing existing laws regarding money laundering to determine how to best to beef up local, state and federal statutes to combat the crime. Dewhurst also wants the committee to team up with a joint interim committee on human trafficking to monitor the implementation of laws relating to that crime.
Senators on the human trafficking committee are also supposed to examine the government services make available to victims of the crime, to review procedures and services available to youth victims of trafficking, and to take a closer look at the appropriate criminal penalties associated with prostitution.