Several Texas border leaders, from Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz to members of the Texas Border Coalition, which represents Rio Grande Valley business owners, have released the Texas Border Compact,’ a compromise that they say would re-open the federal government and insure reliable, stepped up security on the U.S. Mexico border, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Texas Border Compact contains three main points:
1) The SMART Act, which has been sponsored by Texas Reps Will Hurd (R-San Antonio), Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-Corpus Christi) which calls for the deployment of ‘the most practical and effective border security technologies to secure the border.’ It also calls for eradication of the pesky carrizo cane and salt cedar weeks which grow along the Rio Grande, and allow illegal border crossers to hide from the Border Patrol.
2) The Border and Port Security Act, sponsored by Gonzalez, Texas Rep Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) and New York Republican Congressman Peter King, which hire thousands of new federal officers in various branches and departments, including customs inspectors, agriculture inspectors and Homeland Security and border Patrol officers.
3) A new bill by Rep. Vela to provide $4 billion to modernize ports of entry to address the deficits identified by Customers and Border Protection which allow the vast majority of contraband, and smuggled illegal immigrants and sex trafficking victims to come into the U.S.
Saenz says this would be a far better use of $4 billion that building a wall across the southern border.
"We agree with our bipartisan leaders in Congress that between the ports we need a smart wall built with high-tech resources like sensors, radar, LIDAR, fiber optics, drones and cameras to detect and then track incursions across our border so we can deploy efficiently our most important resource, the men and women of Border Patrol to perform the most difficult task - interdiction," Saenz said.
Homeland Security says fully 90% of human and drug contraband enters the U.S. through the ports of entry, which are currently overstressed by increased trade between the U.S. and Latin America.
"Our nation has no time to wait, “Saenz said. The government shutdown over the issues of border security needs to be resolved immediately so that we can get the country back to work. The Texas Border Coalition wants the nation to know that local leaders working with our elected officials in Congress have the know-how and local knowledge needed to implement effective border security that meets the challenge.”