FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2022
Austin, TX -- Today, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa to the newly created Border Security Committee. The committee will oversee the funding and policies of Texas’ effort to secure the Texas-Mexico border. The members of the committee will work closely with Governor Greg Abbott’s office, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas National Guard and other state agencies.
Senator Hinojosa offered the following statement regarding his appointment:
"I appreciate Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appointing me to the Border Security Committee. It is important to have someone on the Committee from the border who understands the challenges we are facing. As a lifelong border resident, I am proud of our border communities, culture, thriving economy, and proximity to Texas' number one trading partner, Mexico. However, we cannot ignore the challenges we face along the border such as human trafficking, stash houses, drug smuggling, damages done to fences along our ranches and farms by smugglers, and the large number of immigrants seeking asylum in our border cities that stretch public, private, and non-profit resources to the limit. Responding to these challenges requires cooperation, coordination, and consultation between our local, state, and federal partners to work together to keep our communities safe.
For these reasons, I have supported funding and legislation that strengthens our border security efforts without harming our businesses, our relations with Mexico, and that allows our region to continue to thrive. While this is a federal issue, we the state, cannot turn a blind eye to the federal government's inadequate response. As a state, we cannot just throw up our hands and give up and ignore the problem. It is also our responsibility to protect our communities.
I do not support open borders. As a nation we have the right to define and defend our border. A country that fails to secure its border ceases to be a nation. We also have the right to know who comes into our country to keep our communities safe. I look forward to working with Lt. Governor Patrick, Chairman Brian Birdwell, Chairman Bob Hall, the Governor's office and our state agencies to provide oversight of our border security funding and monitor implementation of our policies."
Senator Hinojosa, while vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee from 2009 to 2020, was instrumental in securing the following border security items for South Texas:
- Created the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center (TTIC) & the Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Center in McAllen.
- Established the Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence at South Texas College.
- Created a Texas Ranger Company focused on border crimes.
- Enhanced funding for the Border Prosecution Grant Program.
- Provided Funding for Local Law Enforcement Agencies for border security efforts.
- Worked with TABC to establish the Special Investigation Unit to combat human trafficking and money laundering along the border and in our state.
- Built and expanded a hangar at the Edinburg airport to stage border security equipment.
- Millions in funding for law enforcement equipment: Pilatus aircraft; Marine vessels; Helicopters.