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Immigration

Texas officials hold ‘Field Hearing’: ‘we are at ground zero of the worst humanitarian public safety and security crisis’

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Texas towns along the southern border are losing their quality of life due to the immigration crisis, and now they are also unable to utilize federal funding for their benefit.

Susan Kibbe, executive director of South Texans’ Property Rights Association, testified before a committee on Friday explaining local emergency services are being diverted from local public safety needs to deal with “smuggling pursuits, bail outs and the lost, injured, dehydrated or dead immigrants.”

“The normal daily emergency needs don’t just put themselves on hold until illegal immigration slows down. They just become needs that are unmet,” she added. Residents of Kinney County, Texas, planned to fund a splash pad park for its residents. Instead, their government funds went to create emergency shelters for migrants who illegally cross into the U.S.

While the loss of a “splash pad” may not sound like much, it is a small indication of the larger problem. Funds also must be redirected to increase security to schools due to a high rise in criminal activity.

Officials of Kinney County, Texas, explained the tumultuous scenarios during testimony before the House Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth on Friday. Members of the committee traveled to South Texas to hold a “field hearing.”

Titled “infrastructure Investment: Building Economic Resilience in South Texas” National Review writes of the hearing:

While Democratic members of the committee took the trip to discuss infrastructure in South Texas, Republican members turned their focus to the impact of the border crisis on the region.

Representative Jodey Arrington, a Republican whose district covers parts of West Texas, blasted Democrats’ focus on infrastructure during the hearing.

“The infrastructure that matters most right now is the infrastructure that protects the American people and we are at ground zero of the worst humanitarian public safety and security crisis in the history of our country and we’re talking about roads and bridges,” Arrington said.

“I’d love to have this conversation but that would be like us going to Ukraine and having a hearing about fixing the potholes in the street while the Russians are waging war on the citizens. So, no. We have to talk about this border crisis.”

Smith said before the current border crisis began, Kinney County saw maybe two or three high speed police chases per year. Just last weekend, the county saw ten high speed chases, he said.

The danger has grown so high that the school campus is “now militarized with boulders that surround the campus to prevent cars from high speed car chases from actually entering campus and injuring children,” he said.

“That’s money that should be better spent preparing our children for the jobs of the future,” Ranking member Brian Steil (R., Wis.) told National Review in an interview.

Communities in the area are contending with massive flooding and little-to-no internet access. In the local colonias, there are people living without adequate access to sanitation and fresh water, committee chair Jim Himes said during the hearing.

Steil said that the committee should explore how the federal government can partner with local areas to meet the community’s need for flood infrastructure that will cost millions of dollars.

“But instead what’s so frustrating when I heard from folks here is that the federal government and local resources are being used to address a different crisis and that’s the porous border costing the state of Texas and cities across the Rio Grande Valley millions of dollars each year,” he said during the hearing.

“It’s impacting the ability of towns to afford longterm infrastructure projects and the inaction by the Biden administration is pushing Texans to pay for a federal issue,” he added.

In August, Texas state lawmakers approved nearly $2 billion in additional funding for border security operations, months after lawmakers had already approved $1.05 billion for border security in the spring.

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Elections

GOP bill proposes extra measures to ensure noncitizens are unable to vote in federal elections

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GOP members of both the U.S. House and Senate introduced a bill to add safeguards to ensure that non U.S. citizens who are already prohibited from voting in federal elections, do not do so. The bill seeks to amend the National Voter Registration Act to require documentary proof of United States citizenship to register to vote.

The Center Square reports that It would require states to obtain proof of citizenship – in person – when registering an individual to vote. Applicants would have to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote in person, when applying for a motor vehicle license, and when applying to vote by mail. The bill lists accepted citizenship documentation and requirements for voter registration agencies.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, led a coalition of 49 Republicans to introduce the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act in the U.S. House. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, with several cosponsors, introduced the same bill in the Senate.

Citing the border crisis and the greatest number of foreign nationals illegally entering the country in U.S. history, the measure’s supporters expressed alarm that instead of being deported, many are being registered to vote.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “And that is the threat of non-citizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections. In the last five and a half months or so, I’ve been to over 101 cities doing events all around the country in more than half the states. The first or second question that I’m asked in every public forum is about election security. Americans are deeply concerned about this. And it doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re in a blue state or a red state, everyone’s concerned.”

Johnson blamed President Joe Biden and his administration’s policies for for what he described as widespread concern about election integrity.

“… we now have so many non-citizens in the country that if only one out of 100 of those voted, they would cast hundreds of thousands of votes,” the speaker added. “And since our elections are so razor thin in these days that we’re in, just a few precincts in a few states decide the makeup of Congress and who is elected to the White House. This is a dangerously high number, and it’s a great concern to millions and millions of Americans. It could obviously change the outcome of our elections, and this is not an empty threat or concern.”

It is already a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in a federal election. Despite this, Johnson said, “no current mechanism to ensure only those registering or voting are actually citizens. … If a nefarious actor wants to intervene in our elections, all they have to do is check a box on a form and sign their name. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. And there’s a very small chance that illegal would get caught [because] states do not have the election infrastructure in place to confirm what they’ve said.”

Johnson said noncitizens “can simply go to their local welfare office or the DMV and register to vote there,” adding that “states are currently prohibited from asking someone to prove that they’re a citizen when they use the federal voter registration form.”

He also gave examples of “a growing number of localities” that are “blurring the lines for non-citizens by allowing them to vote in municipal local elections.

“You might not know this, but non-citizens are voting,” he warned Americans. “Democrats have expressed a desire to turn on citizens and voters. That’s what this open border has been all about.”

Roy said the proposed SAVE Act “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

Lee said the bill should “pass right away” and unanimously in both houses of Congress. “The only reason to oppose this … would be if you want noncitizens to vote.”

It also would create a new program requiring the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to share information with state registration systems. States would be required to identify noncitizens attempting to register to vote by accessing data in DHS’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program and the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service. The information would be compared with data from state agencies that supply state identification cards or driver’s licenses.

The bill also would require states to remove non-citizens from existing voter rolls and increases federal penalties for those who register non-citizens to vote in federal elections.

 

 

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