Border Security in Texas Tightens as Title 42 Expires, Legislators Respond

Biden Administration Fails Texans

Border Security in Texas

Photo by humberto chavez / Unsplash

The expiration of Title 42, a policy that permitted U.S. officials to turn away migrants at the U.S./Mexico border until their immigration court hearing, has led to a surge of migrants at the southern border. The policy, enacted in 2020 due to COVID-19, has assisted in over 2 million cases but ended last Thursday. Texas State Senators Drew Springer and Phil King have raised concerns over the impact of this expiration.

Senator Drew Springer criticized President Biden's handling of the situation, stating, "President Biden has failed to replace Title 42, and frankly, he has failed Texans by refusing to address the southern border crisis." He further indicated that Texas is shouldering the burden due to a lack of federal leadership.

Texas is shouldering the burden due to a lack of federal leadership.

Springer is working closely with other legislators to secure resources necessary to maintain border security. Notably, HB 1, the State Budget, assigns $4.6 billion to continue funding for Operation Lone Star, a joint initiative aimed at countering illegal immigration and other criminal activities. Since 2021, the operation has accounted for over 373,000 apprehensions, more than 28,000 criminal arrests, and the seizure of over 402 million lethal fentanyl doses.

Springer has co-authored SB 2424, a bill creating a state crime for illegal entry into Texas from a foreign nation. Other bills he highlighted include SB 1427, which tackles drug cartels and trafficking operations, and SB 1403, which aims to establish an interstate border security compact among Texas and participating states.

Similarly, Senator Phil King expressed his apprehension regarding the border chaos ensuing after Title 42's expiration. King commented, "the federal government under President Joe Biden is unwilling and incapable of securing our southern border," asserting the necessity for Texas to take leadership in managing border security.

King reported on several bills passed by the Texas Senate, including HB 1, which grants $4.6 billion to maintain current border security operations, and SB 22, which funds rural law enforcement. SB 423 permits Texas military forces to use drones for border security, and SB 602 gives U.S. Border Patrol agents the authority to make state felony arrests.

Additional bills mentioned by King included SB 1248, which strengthens smuggling laws to include state parks; SB 1403, creating the Border Security Compact; and SB 1427, enhancing penalties for smuggling. King also referred to SB 1709, his legislation that reinforces organized crime and sedition laws.

Both Senators expressed their commitment to resolving the border security crisis and emphasized the importance of Texas taking charge amid what they see as inadequate federal action. They continue to monitor the situation closely and are prepared to introduce additional measures if necessary.