Texas Legislative Border Security Status and Path Forward
May 10, 2023
Late in the evening of May 9 and early into this morning, three of the big border bills we have been tracking reached the Texas House floor.
There are several pieces of bad news, but some good and there is a path forward to reach the fundamental, tide-turning, game-changing action we need in THIS legislative session.
The bad news is that after surviving 2 points of order and a barrage of orchestrated arguments against Matt Schaefer’s HB 20, one of the open borders Democrat point men, State Rep. Rafael Anchia filed a point of order that the Speaker ultimately used to kill one of his two designated priority bills. Speakers do not have to follow the narrow, technical recommendations of their parliamentarians. The Speaker chose this destruction. Because of legislative deadlines, the HB 20 bill vehicle spearheaded by Matt Schaefer, is dead.
But there are other vehicles forward.
The first thing that happened is that Ryan Guillen amended his other Speaker-designated border bill HB 7 to add most of the Border Protection Unit creation language back into his bill, and got it passed. There are deficiencies in the grafting that will need to be fixed in the Senate. More on that in a future communication.
But what we no longer have in HB 7 is the most important item of the session – the invocation of Texas’ right to independent, no-permission-needed self defense in Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution. We need a detailed explanation in writing why Texas is taking independent action and the Constitutional basis in Article I, Section 10 of actual (cartel) invasion and imminent danger. This gives Constitutional and legal cover to the governor to do what he needs to do (and which he announced he will be doing on May 8) to turn the tide – repel at the border between the ports of entry.
Fortunately, the Senate has delivered just such a document to the House. That concurrent resolution that represents the consensus and will of the Texas legislature is SCR 23 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst. It passed the Senate with only one vote against. And it is sitting in the House State Affairs Committee, waiting for a hearing to be set by Chair Todd Hunter.
The most important path forward from here is to persuade Chair Hunter, the Speaker, and his able lieutenant, Calendars Chair Dustin Burrows to get this to the House floor for a majority vote before the May 23 deadline. The first step is for Chair Hunter to hear SCR 23 in House State Affairs.
I will discuss in a later communication about how HB 7 needs to be fixed to deliver the most effective way to effectively repel at the border. But first, let’s get the declaration done in the House to give constitutional cover for the governor to repel at the border.
Click here to see a video of me discussing more details with the wonderful Maria Espinoza.