The Texas Tribune reports that a gaggle of Republican politicians, lead by State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Harris County), the GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor, have began pushing for Governor Rick Perry to call a fourth special session of the Texas Legislature to deal with border security.
The Washington Post provides the needed background on this issue. There have been tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border, with some evidence that they are coming here because of deferred action programs delaying the deportation of minor undocumented immigrants. Anyways, the powers-to-be have quickly realized that something needs to be done. Breitbart notes that Perry has said that, given current budget constraints, he can do little over the issue.
Accordingly, enter State Reps. Jonathan Strickland (R-Tarrant County) and Steve Toth (R-Montgomery County). The two pushed for the Governor to call a fourth special session specifically devoted to border security. By the end of the day, Patrick had publicly signed onto the matter. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, now a lame duck but still President of the Senate for the time being, also supported the measure via his Facebook page.
As I have said on many other occasions in the past, I loathe the entire idea of superfluous special sessions. That hatred is only multiplied for the idea of a session in the middle of an election year. Make no mistake, none of this is actually about solving a problem along our borders. As Scott Braddock of Quorum Report reminds us, many of the most obstreperous proponents of this special session actually voted against the budget, attributing fiscal responsibility. That budget, for what it’s worth, included a generous hike in border security funding.
What is far more likely than actual solutions are Arizona-style immigration overhauls or new laws rescinding the Texas Dream Act, which guarantees in-state tuition for undocumented students. The session would surely be hijacked for purely partisan purposes, and not used for the production of useful legislation to help the State.
As the Tribune article notes, “Patrick added that U.S. Border Patrol has concerns about a possible health hazard associated with the influx of migrants, especially the thousands of unaccompanied minors. Patrick quoted a U.S. Border Patrol official as saying that the agency is worried about chicken pox, staph infections and other viral outbreaks.”
It looks like the GOP nominee for Lieutenant Governor is not backing down about his “third world diseases” stance on immigrants. More broadly, he is certainly not moving toward the middle. This election cycle will certainly be interesting.
Big Jolly Politics has more.