FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/17/2015
REP. WORKMAN FILES LEGISLATION CREATING THE TEXAS BORDER SECURITY DIVISION
HB 1450 to Create a Permanent Texas-Led Border Security Force Along the Texas-Mexico Border
AUSTIN – State Representative Paul Workman today filed HB 1450 to create the Texas Border Security Division.
"Border security consistently ranks at the top of Texans' list of concerns," remarked Rep. Workman. "Yet for years, the federal government has neglected its responsibility along the Texas-Mexico border. Texas has waited long enough for leadership from Washington. Now is the time for Texas to secure its own border."
The Texas Border Security Division (Division) will be organized within the existing framework of the Department of Public Safety. The Public Safety Commission will determine the minimum requirements for training, testing, and certifying officers for assignment to the Texas-Mexico border.
Hiring preference will be given to men and women who have been honorably discharged from serving in the United States Armed Forces.
The Division will be tasked with criminal interdiction and will collaborate with and assist local law enforcement to secure the Texas-Mexico border and prevent criminal cartel- and gang-related activities in the region, such as gun and drug smuggling and human trafficking.
The Division will also provide assistance to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and local district attorneys and other prosecutors. Further, HB 1450 will require the Attorney General to seek reimbursement from the federal government for any border-security related activities performed by the Texas Border Security Division.
The Division will be subject to strict operational scrutiny and financial accountability under the Texas Sunset Act. The Division will expire in 2019 unless it is reauthorized by the Legislature.
"Securing our international border can be done only through collaboration with sheriffs and local law enforcement. Rep. Workman's bill takes a major step toward making that cooperative effort happen and help finally secure our border," remarked A.J. "Andy" Louderback, Jackson County Sheriff and President of the Sheriffs' Association of Texas.
"Texas has shown that we have the resources and willpower to secure our own border," concluded Rep. Workman. "This bill is about ending short-term fixes to a long-term problem by putting a permanent framework in place to secure our border."