Lubbock senator Charles Perry discusses border security proposal

A pair of border security proposals passed the senate, here is what they entail
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 7:16 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 11:15 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Each of the last three fiscal years, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a record number of encounters at the southern border of the United States.

In fiscal year 2021, there were more than 1.7 million apprehensions, according to U.S. CBP data. In 2022 there were more than 2.3 million apprehensions, then more than 2.4 million apprehensions in fiscal year 2023.

On Thursday, the Texas Senate passed two border security proposals. Lubbock State Senator Charles Perry wrote one of these measures, which are raising flags with other lawmakers.

“One of my good Democrat senators said the other day, a country that loses sovereignty over its borders will not survive long, and I’m afraid he may be right,” Perry said.

Perry says he voted to pass two border security bills because of a growing public safety concern at the border.

“We’ve done everything I think we can to get as close to overreaching into the federal area, we stayed out of it as best we can to where we will achieve the goal of public safety and deterrence,” Perry said.

Funding a border wall and cracking down on undocumented immigrants are two of the four priorities for this fourth special session. Senate bill 3 allots one $1.5 billion for law enforcement and new barriers.

“I think Texas has taken a step out there that said we cant just keep the narrative that the feds should be doing this, cause they’ve clearly shown they’re not doing it,” Perry said.

SB4, which Senator Perry is carrying this session, also passed in Thursday night’s session. This bill would make it a state crime to cross the border illegally and allow local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute anyone who crosses, anywhere in Texas. The punishments are up to six months in jail for a first-time offender and two years for a second-time offender.

“Mom and a couple of kids were kind of making the trek, but of the last few years that has changed to more of a coyote, smuggling, cartel, type activity and they’re dangerous,” he said.

Perry said some lawmakers challenged this bill stating that it was unconstitutional and would lead to racial profiling.

“I trust our officers and if we have one that gets out of the box and anecdotally is the guy that creates this narrative, there’s punishment in place for that so its not a ‘show me your papers’ bill,” Perry said.

Perry said he expects the courts to test the constitutionality of the bill, and that’s a conversation he hopes to have.

“To date we have not been able to engage the feds or Supreme Court level on this issue as to why isn’t the fed doing its job,” Perry said.