FIRST ON FOX: Texas Republican lawmakers on Thursday unveiled a sweeping border security framework specifically catered to the needs of their state — which has been on the frontlines of the border crisis.
The Lone Star State Republican House delegation unveiled their border framework written ‘by Texans for Texans’ and is the latest plan released by the GOP to secure the border ahead of them taking the chamber in January.
Earlier this year, Republicans issued their ‘Commitment to America’ plan which pledged to take action on a number of border security measures and asylum reforms in order to close loopholes, protect national security and discourage a flood of migration that saw more than 2.3 million migrant encounters in FY 2022, and is on track to eclipse that number in FY 2023.
‘As Members of Congress representing Texans and the southern border we commit to the same and offer these solutions to fulfill the goals of the Commitment to America,’ the lawmakers say.
Texas Border Commitment by Fox News on Scribd
The commitments are split up into categories, and based on legislation that has been introduced previously by Texas lawmakers.
The first is a commitment to completing infrastructure at the border — including finishing the Trump-era border wall, which has largely stalled under the Biden administration. They also want to aid Border Patrol recruitment and install 700 miles of roads along the border, while reimbursing Texas for border security expenses.
On the policy side, the lawmakers want to require the U.S. government to turn away all illegal immigrants if they cannot be detained and placed into systems like the ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ policy which kept migrants in Mexico for their hearings.
They also want to see the defunding of all non-governmental organizations that they say encourage ‘the violation of our border security and related laws.’ Additionally, the framework includes the closing of ‘loopholes’ in asylum law in relation to the treatment of minors, and to stop the abuse of the asylum system by those not fleeing persecution.
The framework would also put limits on the extent to which DHS can use prosecutorial discretion to release illegal immigrants into the interior, and its use of parole — supposed to be used on a case-by-case basis — to mass release migrants into the interior. It calls for increased enforcement for criminal illegal immigrants and visa overstayers.
Finally the framework calls for the targeting cartels by designating cartels as terrorists and increasing penalties for human trafficking and drug smuggling — including fentanyl.
‘Texas is under siege from this invasion every day and our delegation is tired of watching the Biden Administration have ‘more important things to do’ than protect our fellow Texans and Americans from cartels, terrorists, fentanyl traffickers, human traffickers, human smugglers and murderers,’ Rep. Chip Roy told Fox News Digital.
‘We are committing ourselves to secure our southern border; we will not accept anything less, and this framework outlines what it’s going to take to get the job done,’ he continued.
‘No one understands or appreciates the widespread social and economic costs of Biden’s unprecedented open border crisis like the people of Texas. It only makes sense for the Texas Delegation to lead the way in using every tool and authority to secure the border, defend our sovereignty, and protect our citizens — and all Americans — from this epic disaster,’ said Rep. Jodey Arrington said in a statement.
‘As migrants and fentanyl continue to pour over our southern border, the Biden Administration sits idly by and refuses to even acknowledge this devastating crisis,’ Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who has introduced a slew of border-related bills in recent months, said.
‘Texas continues to bear the brunt of this mess, and Biden’s inaction speaks volumes. Come January 3rd, House Republicans will do everything in our power to secure our border and put an end to this national security crisis,’ Crenshaw continued.
The framework is the latest sign that Republicans are gearing up for a heavy focus on border security in the upcoming Congress. Last month, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy led a delegation to the southern border, where he called on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to either resign or face a potential impeachment inquiry.
The ranking members of the House committees have also signaled their intention to fully investigate the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis.
Meanwhile, the border is facing a looming challenge in the expiration of Title 42, which has been used to expel a majority of migrants at the southern border since March 2020. The order is due to end on Dec. 21 and both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concern about a renewed surge on top of the already historic numbers the border is seeing.
The Biden administration has sought to quell fears by outlining a six-point plan to deal with an increase in numbers.