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Friday, March 6, 2015

Bonnen Files “Stronger Border, Safer Texas” Legislation

Insider's Report Vol. 10 No. 14

A stronger border means a safer Texas.  This week, I filed House Bill 11 calling for increased DPS presence on the border and tougher penalties for the cartels and gangs that smuggle misery and suffering into our state and country.  I am honored that 77 members of the Texas House have already instilled their trust in me to lead this vital effort by adding their signatures to my "Stronger Border, Safer Texas Act."


Crime that begins at the border finds its way into communities across Texas and the rest of the nation, where human beings are exploited for profit, and lives are ruined by drug addiction. Given our federal government’s failure to fulfill its responsibility of securing our border, my legislation includes the following key provisions to permanently stand in the gap they have created:

 ·         Imposes tougher penalties for smugglers and classifies human smuggling as organized crime to give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools to attack the root of the problem.

 ·         Establishes the Texas Transnational Crime Intelligence Center in the Rio Grande Valley led by local law enforcement with assistance from DPS to ensure agencies are able to effectively share data, connect crimes to identify larger crime enterprises, and pursue stronger penalties against organized crime .

 ·         Authorizes the expedited hiring of certified police officers at the DPS Trooper II level to serve in the border region, ending the current practice of periodically shifting officers from other parts of the state subsequently leaving those communities less safe.

 ·         Cuts off the cartels’ supply lines with new southbound checkpoints at the border to curb the flow of stolen vehicles, guns and money from being smuggled into Mexico.

 ·         Creates a DPS Officer Reserve Corps of volunteer retired and previously commissioned officers who will assist police statewide with background investigations, sex offender compliance checks and other duties, so that paid police officers can be kept in the field to fight crime.

 ·         Requires law enforcement entities to adopt the National Incident Based Reporting System to ensure the transparency and uniformity of crime data throughout the state.

 ·         Encourages and prioritizes the funding of anti-gang centers in regions with high levels of gang-related activity.



As the State of Texas once again steps up to the plate with House Bill 11 where the federal government has abdicated its duties, I encourage you to join me in continuing to hold Washington D.C. accountable for the cost of keeping our borders secure and our citizens safe.