The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) should step up hiring border guards to tackle human and drug smuggling across the US-Mexico border, Texas Governor Greg Abbot said in a press release.
The legislation calls for re-establishing police checkpoints on the US border with Mexico in order to check travelers for contraband.
HB 11 prohibits anyone to “encourage or induce” staying illegally in the United States. “HB 11 [House Bill 11]… will accelerate DPS’s hiring of 250 additional troopers for the border region, provide additional training and equipment along the border and give prosecutors additional tools necessary to crack down on criminal cartel enterprises involved in human and drug smuggling,” Abbot said on Tuesday.
Abbot explained Texas leaders cannot wait and not act while drug cartels and transnational gangs that operate in Mexico pose significant threats and the US government does not secure the border.
“Texas will not sit idly by while the [US] federal government fails to do its job and secure the border,” Abbot said.
The Texas-Mexico border is crossed by thousands of illegal immigrants every year. A July 2014 study by the Pew Research Center found that about 11.7 million illegal immigrants reside in the United States, of which over 50 percent came from Mexico.