Senate Bill 850, The National Guard Personal Protection Act, Passes the State Senate
AUSTIN, TX – Senator Van Taylor today passed out of the Texas Senate a key component of his legislative agenda aimed at securing our border and stopping illegal immigration. By a vote of 23-7, the Senate passed SB 850, The National Guard Personal Protection Act, granting Texas military personnel legal safeguards to protect themselves while being called upon to serve our state.
"Every day our state is asking our Texas National Guard to leave their families and put their lives on the line to help secure our border and keep us safe," stated Taylor. "The very least we can do is give our Texas military forces the legal protection to defend themselves."
Currently, when mobilized by presidential deployment, federal law grants military forces legal safeguards for the use force to protect themselves, or others, while serving on that operation. However, those same safeguards are not granted to military personnel on state sponsored deployment.
In response to an unprecedented wave of illegal crossings, in the summer of 2014 then-Governor Rick Perry authorized up to 1,000 National Guardsmen be deployed to secure the southern border of Texas as part of operation Strong Safety. This move had an immediate effect, in the months following the surge operation apprehensions dropped two-thirds in the Rio Grande Valley where Texas started a presence.
Last year, Senator Taylor visited the border where he were briefed on the surge operation by DPS Director Steve McCraw and was able to see the impact firsthand. As a Marine officer Taylor served on the U.S. / Mexico border as part Joint Task Force 6.
While immigration policy is a federal issue, Senator Taylor has outlined steps the state of Texas can take to stop illegal immigration, namely securing our border and stopping state sponsored incentives that he believes further attracts illegal immigration.
Speaking on actions the state of Texas can take, Taylor said, "The misguided policies of President Obama continue to worsen the problem of illegal immigration and we simply cannot afford to wait on Washington to act. At the state level, we must turn off the magnets that further attract illegal immigration and use any and all resource at our disposal to secure our border. Most importantly, as a state, we must we must make a commitment to not yield one inch of Texas land to the drug cartels."
In addition to fighting for increased border security funding, last legislative session Taylor led the fight to kill a bill that would give Texas Driver Licenses to illegal immigrants. This session, Taylor introduced SB 117, Texas Grants for Texans Act, which changes eligibility requirements for Texas Grant college scholarships so that only legal citizens qualify to receive Texas Grants.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of the Nominations Committee and also as a member of the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.
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