Greg Abbott Unveils Securing Texans Policy Plan
AUSTIN – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today unveiled his Securing Texans policy release in Dallas, TX. In discussing the third in a series of policy proposals, Abbott offered reforms that will protect Texas children, enhance school safety, combat organized and transnational crime, strengthen border security and provide comprehensive care to victims of sex crimes and trafficking, among others.
In the included remarks, Abbott discussed his vision for Texas, saying, “We must do more to keep Texas safe, and we can. As Governor, I will fight to secure our families, our communities, and our border – keeping out the drug cartels and gangs that import crime to our state, protecting your right to be safe in your own home, protecting your children in their schools, enforcing the rule of law and protecting those who cannot protect themselves.”
You can find detailed information on Abbott’s proposals at Townhall254.GregAbbott.com.
Securing Texans Policy Speech:
*Greg Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks. The following has been condensed for purposes of brevity.
The foremost responsibility of government is to keep people safe. As Attorney General, I’ve made protecting Texans my top priority. I’ve quadrupled the size of peace officers at the Office of the Attorney General – going from 40 when I began, to 160 now. I created a Cyber Crimes Unit to track down child predators. I created a Fugitive Unit to arrest thousands of sex offenders. I’ve taken horrific child pornographers off the streets. I’ve convicted criminals who abused the sick and elderly. I’ve launched innovative programs to prevent domestic violence and to deter date-related violence. I’ve worked with schools to ensure they have the tools and information they need to keep children safe. I’ve awarded more than a billion dollars to help victims of crime and organizations that help those victims. And I’ve ensured the ultimate penalty has been given to the worst killers in Texas.
Today, I am unveiling my keep Texans safe plan. I can think of no better place to launch this plan than here at New Friends, New Life. Your mission is so vitally important for healing and hope for victims of human trafficking – for women and children who’ve been sexually exploited and sold as mere property.
One of the fastest growing areas of crime involves human trafficking. It’s one of the areas I’ve devoted much attention the past few years. As chairman of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force, I’ve seen the horrific trauma inflicted on its victims – some are just girls, as young as 12, who are trafficked and sold as sex slaves. As a father, their pain breaks my heart. As a law enforcement officer, it stiffens my spine. That’s why I pushed for tougher penalties for traffickers who exploit our children. And that’s why I created a new investigation and prosecution unit at the Office of the Attorney General, that’s 100% dedicated to human trafficking cases. We’ve helped close down brothels where women had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution, and we’ve helped put their filthy traffickers behind bars.
I’ve also worked with the Legislature as we’ve advanced Texas as a national leader in tackling human trafficking. But there’s more to do, especially for the youngest victims.
I want Texas to adopt a Comprehensive Care Plan to provide victim services for sexually exploited minors. We will continue to hunt down and arrest the human traffickers who exploit children. But until we end this scourge, we must do all we can to aid these young victims.
As we all know, sexual assault is not limited to human trafficking or to children. It happens to people of every age, every race and in every region of Texas. We must do more to end those assaults.
All too often, a rapist is a repeat offender who left evidence at his last crime scene. We must arrest those offenders before they can harm again. To help us better identify sexual assault offenders and ensure they never harm anyone else, we must unclog the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence collection kits.
A corollary to getting those sexual assault test kits completed in the first place is to ensure we have the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners needed to gather the essential evidence… My office has already trained 1,200 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, but more are needed to unlock the evidence that will lock up the criminals. As Governor, I will work with the Legislature to make funding available to hospitals to increase the number of SANE nurses in Texas.
Another way to better prevent sexual assault offenders from repeating their crime is to close the gaps in the sex offender registry system…As Governor, I will work with the Legislature to update the sex offender registration requirements to reduce the chances that any offender will harm another person.
Another crime in Texas that must be stopped is domestic violence.
As Governor, I’ll recommend that Texas create Domestic Violence High-Risk Teams that are modeled on a nationally recognized program that prevents domestic violence and homicide…In the year this program was first implemented in the nation, zero percent of the victims reported any re-assault. In the first six years of the program, there were zero homicides in the high-risk cases. Women in Texas deserve this protection and I will bring it to Texas.
We must also do more to protect the most vulnerable in our society – our children. As a parent, I believe nothing is more important than keeping our children safe in our schools. To help accomplish that, I will fund the campus marshal training approved last year by the Legislature. And I’ll provide “Active Shooter Response Training” for school marshals, Texas ISD police, higher education police departments and police at open-enrollment charter schools.
As Governor, I will build on my proven record of keeping Texans safe from threats to our families, whether those threats come from within our communities or from across the border. The federal government has failed in it’s duty to secure our border, forcing Texas to shoulder that burden.
Texans are already paying the price for the federal government’s failure to secure the border. Powerful and ruthless international cartels and violent transnational gangs are operating in our state and even in our prison system, with narco-related cross-border crime on the rise.
But it’s more than just drugs being smuggled in. It’s home invasions, kidnapping, extortion, money laundering, robbery, human trafficking and – of course – cartel-related murder.
The effect of this violence is not limited to our border communities. It’s felt across Texas, in big cities and small, and even into rural areas, where trafficking organizations are growing marijuana on Texas soil. A sizeable problem that is growing larger across the state is the extent to which gangs like the Barrio Azteca, the Texas Syndicate, Tango Blast and countless others are infiltrating schools across the state. They dangle cash to entice high school students to abandon upward mobility and a stable life and instead join the gang-led cartel-related crime life.
The long-range potential impact on our schools, communities and state are devastating. We’re already paying a steep price for our porous borders. In the last two years, Texas taxpayers were on the hook for more than $150 million to house undocumented immigrants held in our county jails.
The safety of Texans – and the future of our state – no longer allow us to wait for the federal government to provide the resources to adequately address these challenges. While federal officials like the Border Patrol, FBI and federal prosecutors are doing their best to try to tackle these mounting challenges, there are limits to what they can do because they are underfunded and inadequately resourced.
As a result, Texas must step up our efforts to secure our border and keep our communities safe. I have a plan to do that. As Governor, I will marshal the tools we need to secure our border and I will enforce the rule of law.
As Governor, I will almost double spending for DPS border security. I’ll add more boots on the ground, more assets in the air and on the water, and deploy more technology and tools for added surveillance. I’ll mobilize more than 1,000 DPS personnel for continuous surge operations and add 500 more troopers over a 4-year period to build a permanent border shield.
Beefing up our border presence is only part of addressing cross border crime in Texas.We must also address the cartel and gang related crime that is penetrating our communities, schools and prisons. Gang activity in Texas is growing, with the current number of gang members likely exceeding 100,000. To address this growing danger, the innovative Texas Anti-Gang Tactical Operations Center in Houston should be expanded and new anti-gang centers should be established in Dallas, Ft Worth, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi and Weslaco.
Texas is the land of opportunity—opportunity that brings people here from other states and nations. We welcome all who come here, who share our values, and who respect our laws.
U.S. law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States. The state of Texas will follow the law to ensure state paychecks – written with your tax dollars – go only to those eligible to work in the United States and that all state agencies should be required to use E-Verify. This is already used in one form or another by twenty states. As Governor, I’ll add Texas to that list.
We must do more to keep Texas safe, and we can. As Governor, I will fight to secure our families, our communities, and our border – keeping out the drug cartels and gangs that import crime to our state, protecting your right to be safe in your own home, protecting your children in their schools, enforcing the rule of law and protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
Working together, we can keep Texas growing and keep Texans secure.
Thank you, and God bless you.