Bonham Audience Hears From State Rep About $750M Border Bill - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Bonham Audience Hears From State Rep About $750M Border Bill

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BONHAM, TX -- The border crisis was a topic of conversation at a political meeting in Fannin County, and a state representative talked about what the state has been doing.

He says Texas has been forced to spend millions of dollars because he says the federal government refuses to act.

"From Russia, 6 people from Romania, Morocco, Nepal, India - 12 from India," says State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman.

Phillips says people from around the world are among those crossing the border.

"Whenever the attention is on the young people, the attention is not on the drug cartels and those that are coming to promote illegal activity," says Phillips.

Phillips told the Fannin County Republican Women meeting that from 2008 to 2014, DPS recorded more than 200,000 "criminal aliens" from any foreign country in Texas county jails, charged with more than 600,000 crimes including murder and sexual assault.

He says Texas first increased its budget to $122 million for border security, up 55 percent.

Then Phillips says in mid-June, Governor Rick Perry ordered a $1.3 million-per-week "border surge" and now plans to spend $12 million a month to send 1,000 extra National Guard troops.

All these are efforts Phillips estimates will result in $750 million total for border spending next year.

"Texans are going to have to take care of themselves if the federal government is not going to do that, and that's what we're doing and so I support the governor's call and the other state leaders," says Phillips.

Phillips says that will require legislators to pass a supplemental appropriations bill next session, money they hadn't originally planned to spend in 2014-15, but have anyway.

He says border spending already included 5 DPS choppers, surveillance aircraft, 6 armed boat patrols, and 326 patrol vehicles.

So what about the kids coming across?

"They should be sent back. That's what needs to happen," says Phillips. "Obviously, the young people are gonna be taken care of. That's the kind of nation we have, but at the end of the day, spending money on those that are coming here is deflecting from money that'd be spent on our citizens that are already here."

"Many of that 12 percent are young men who claim to be children by declaring themselves 15-year-olds," says Bob Hall, R-Canton, a state senator candidate.

Hall says he visited McAllen last week and was told 88 percent of border crossers are adults.

"Most of the women are being raped before they get here multiple times. We should provide them with a safe place and then send 'em back so their families are united," says Hall, adding that many families break up while heading north.

"You don't want to just have children in the system if we can't provide for them and there's no long-term solution," says Fannin County Republican Women president Melanie Grammar.

Hall says Texas needs to implement E-Verify to make employers check immigration status, and stop "sanctuary cities."     

Phillips says the legislature is out of session, but a hearing will still be held Tuesday on the issue in Austin.