Texas State Senator Bob Hall (R), whom Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) appointed as a member of the new committee, told The Epoch Times that Texas needs just one other state to form an interstate compact for border security.
“We don’t need to continue ignoring one of the tools that’s out there and that’s an interstate compact for border security,” Hall told the Epoch Times. “It would be an invaluable tool. We get that compact by joining with at least one other state and then we get to enforce federal law, which means that we are back in the deportation business.”
Hall introduced Senate Bill 1254 last year, which would have created the compact, but it died in the chamber.
States that might join a future interstate compact on border security, if re-introduced and approved by the legislature, include Missouri, Oklahoma, Arizona, Louisiana, and Arkansas, according to Hall.
“Those states have some reasonably sensible people,” Hall told The Epoch Times. “You don’t bring 2 million people into this country and disperse them in the dark of the night without having impact on the states they are going to.”
The new committee, according to a Jan. 27 press release, is being formed to oversee the funding and policies of Texas’s effort to secure the border. The members will work closely with the office of Gov. Greg Abbot (R), the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas National Guard and other state agencies.
Operation Lone Star is a joint initiative between Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) that was launched last year to stem the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas.
In addition to Bob Hall, Patrick appointed Senators Juan Hinojosa and Brian Birdwell. Birdwell was tapped to chair.
“Previously, this issue was a part of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border Security, which will now be entitled the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs,” Patrick said in a statement online. “I have selected members with military experience for the committee since they have the experience and knowledge of operations strategy and tactics to best serve.”
However, Aaron Sorrells, a candidate for the lieutenant governor’s seat, doubts the committee will ever happen.
“What do we need a committee for?” Sorrells told the Epoch Times. “He’s the Lieutenant Governor of Texas. He doesn’t need another committee on the taxpayer’s dime to protect the border. All he needs to do is go fund the organizations to do it. He doesn’t need more committees. We already have a border. We already have a committee.”
The border security disaster that Abbott declared on May 31, 2021, was renewed on Jan. 22.
Abbott’s press assistant Sheridan Nolen declined to offer comment and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s press secretary Steve Aranyi did not respond to requests for comment.
“The U.S. Constitution allows states to defend themselves when they are invaded and so whoever gets to define the word ‘invasion’ will determine whether that’s constitutional or not,” Hall added. “We are very much in our right considering the fact that we are being invaded. The Constitution doesn’t say whether that has to be an armed invasion or not.”