May 11, 2023

(Austin, TX) — Our border is in crisis. We are witnessing an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross our border every day, putting the lives of law enforcement in danger, opening an avenue for drugs to make their way into the state, and leaving local communities on the border and throughout the state with little to no help from the federal government. Therefore, this week, the Texas House passed multiple pieces of legislation to secure our border and address the difficulties caused by the influx of illegal immigrants into our state.

House Bill 7 creates a new division within the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) called the Border Protection Unit (BPU). The BPU will respond to the state’s ongoing border security operations. HB 7 also establishes multiple programs, such as the Border Protection Court Grant system. This grant system is tasked with assisting local courts and the Border Property Damage Compensation Program, indemnifying Texans who suffer from damage from border-related trespassing. Despite the point of order which sent HB 20 back to committee, effectively killing it, amendments onto HB 7 reinstated much of the language from HB 20, which ultimately passed the Texas House.

Over 383 million lethal doses of fentanyl have been seized and over 8,700 attempts of human smuggling have been stopped by DPS since the beginning of Operation Lone Star in March 2021. House Bill 6 increases penalties for certain controlled substance offenses, expands the conduct constituting murder, and creates offenses for the manufacture or delivery of certain opioids. House Bill 800 increases the mandatory minimum sentence for human smuggling to 10 years in prison and increases penalties if the victim was sexually assaulted or seriously injured.

“The Texas House is committed to securing our southern border while the federal government chooses to ignore the lives and security of Texans.” stated Rep. Patterson. “I am thankful to Speaker Phelan for leading where the federal government has failed.”

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th and 87th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Calendars, Licensing and Administrative Procedures, Transportation and serves as Policy Chair of the Texas House Republican Caucus Policy Committee. He also
serves on the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.