30 August 2021

Capitol Update: Addressing the Border Crisis

As we approach the month of September, I hope all of my fellow sportsmen and women are preparing for the start of dove season. That being said, I recommend taking advantage of and downloading the new Texas Parks & Wildlife Department app, Texas Outdoor Annual. This smartphone application allows you to purchase your license online, access information on hunting season dates and bag limits for each county, view game tagging instructions, and even provides a link to report your hunt harvest. For more information, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website at www.tpwd.texas.gov.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…

Capitol Update

The State of Texas is currently experiencing a massive increase in illegal immigrants and contraband coming across the southern border with Mexico. For example, in July of 2020, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded 40,149 encounters with illegal aliens, and in July 2021, there was an increase of 429% with 212,672 encounters. Additionally, border agents have totaled 1.3 million engagements with migrants since October 1. When the “Remain in Mexico” policy was reversed, the impact was immediately felt in border communities where mass transit of people, weapons, and drugs increased at the cost of public safety. A lack of response from the federal government has forced Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature to take immediate action.

In March, the Governor initiated Operation Lone Star to fortify our border and defend it from illegal smuggling. Since then, over 4,600 arrests have been made, thousands of pounds of illicit drugs and hundreds of firearms have been confiscated. Operation Lone Star has been a major driving force to combat the current surge; however, our border towns and sheriffs continue to lack the necessary manpower and resources to keep their communities safe.

In response to this dire situation, the House Appropriations Committee heard testimony and eventually voted out House Bill 9 — a supplemental funding bill that increases the number of state dollars spent on border security by more than $1.8 billion over the next two years. These funds will enable a wide range of law-enforcement agencies, local governments, and the Texas court system to respond to the massive increase in the number of apprehensions, drug seizures, and criminal activity along the southern border. As this humanitarian crisis continues to escalate, the State of Texas must take initiative in order to restore safety within our border communities.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.

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