AUSTIN — State Representative Ernest Bailes is touting what his office calls one of the strongest border security packages in state history and financial measures to aid public safety efforts in Colony Ridge.
The Republican who helped co-author legislation is excited as both measures now proceed to the Governor's desk.
"I'm extremely proud to have contributed to the passage of these protective measures for Texans," said Bailes.
Senate Bill 3 gives $1.5 billion for border construction, adding fences, floating buoys, and walls designed to stop the flow of migrants. The $1.5 billion will be added to the $5.1 billion lawmakers had already approved in May for the same reason.
An additional $40 million will be given under SB3 to the Department of Public Safety for border operations and law enforcement in the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County.
"The additional funding for Liberty County law enforcement will support the growth my rural district has experienced, and I'm thankful to witness these resources directly benefiting House District 18," Bailes said.
Senate Bill 4 grants law enforcement officers the authority to detain individuals entering Texas unlawfully. A first-time offense will result in a class B misdemeanor and could result in a felony, depending on the migrant's criminal history.
A judge or county magistrate could order the migrant to return to their original port of entry after all identifying information is obtained and cross-referenced with state and federal databases.
"It's evident to my constituents that the federal government has fallen short in its duties on our southern border. When Washington D.C. fails to protect us, Texas steps up," Bailes said.
Bailes has helped pass measures focused on border security, human smuggling, stash house operations, increased penalties for manufacturing illicit fentanyl and designating drug cartels as terrorist organizations.