Border Security

Bonnen: Patrick ‘Playing Games’ With Border Security

Apr 22, 2015
Courtesy: Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

A key member of the Texas House’s Republican leadership blasted Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as a Washington-style politician a day after the Texas Senate passed its version of a sweeping border security bill. 

Courtesy The U.S. Air Force / Wikimedia Commons

AUSTIN — A former border security contractor in Texas says there was “spying on Mexico” during aerial surveillance missions and urged caution with state officials over that disclosure, though state security officials said the wording was a mischaracterization of the operation, a newspaper reported Monday.

The “spying” reference was contained in a November 2010 report to the Texas Department of Public Safety during a period of heightened border violence, and obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.

Abrams Learning and Information Systems, which the state hired in 2006 to bring military know-how to state border security efforts, told state officials in the memo that they “need to be careful here as we are admitting to spying on Mexico.”

Ryan E. Poppe

The Texas House spent the better part of Tuesday night wrangling over the next two-year state budget. Early morning Wednesday, House members tentatively passed the largest budget in state history.

Courtesy: senfroniathompson.com

AUSTIN — The Texas House has passed its first bill of the legislative session, easily approving a measure to curb human trafficking that’s part of a broader border security package.

The proposal sponsored by Houston Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson passed 143-0 Monday. It makes it easier to prosecute forcing minors into prostitution while establishing a state anti-sex trafficking unit.

Thompson’s bill was fast-tracked through the Legislature because Gov. Greg Abbott made border security an “emergency item.” That exempted proposals on the topic from constitutional prohibitions against lawmakers passing bills during the first 60 days of the session.

W Baron / Wikimedia Commons

AUSTIN — Calls for an unprecedented Texas border security spending spree to buy spy planes, 500 more state troopers and a 10-acre training base near Mexico came under heavy bipartisan scrutiny Monday in a show of frustration with a priority of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Tense questioning by powerful Senate budget writers, however, fell short of resistance toward doubling border security funding to more than $815 million over the next two years — or opposition to what Abbott has made a defining issue in the early stages of his administration.

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