We will not flinch in our resolve to keep Texas safe

Governor Abbott’s recent op-ed on the importance of keeping Texans safe first appeared in The Dallas Morning News on February 3rd, 2017.

By Governor Greg Abbott

In the last legislative session, we made Texas freer, stronger, safer and smarter.

In addition to improving early education and higher education, we provided a record amount of badly needed funding to unclog our congested roads. We delivered the most robust border security effort of any state ever. We also cut taxes and eliminated unnecessary license fees to secure Texans’ freedom to aspire.

We did all of this and more without breaking the budget. In fact, we wisely ended the session with the largest savings account of any state in America.

The primary goal of government is to keep its citizens safe and secure. And I want to thank our law enforcement officers across the state who are on the front lines of keeping our communities safe.

Unbelievably, last year ambush-style killings of police increased more than 150 percent. We will never forget the sniper attack on Dallas law enforcement last July.

Texas will not tolerate attacks on our law enforcement officers. We will rise up as a state. I want legislation on my desk that increases penalties and makes it a hate crime for criminals who target peace officers simply because of their uniform.

For elected officials in Texas, it is our burden to deal with the consequences of the federal government not securing the border. Let’s be clear: We all support legal immigration — it’s what built America.

What must be stopped is illegal immigration, and worse, the criminals who conspire with cartels to enter the U.S. illegally.

Texas can’t change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law. There are consequences, deadly consequences, to not enforcing the law.

Juan Rios is a criminal alien who had been arrested in Texas multiple times and deported three times. Last September he went on a crime spree across Texas, killing two people and kidnapping another.

One of his innocent victims was Welton Betts. Welton loved God, his family and the Dallas Cowboys. After leaving a Cowboys game last year, he stopped at a Texaco station in Cedar Hill where he was gunned down by Juan Rios.

Mr. Betts’ death is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy repeated too often in Texas.

It is time for Texas to take a stand.

Some law enforcement officials in Texas are openly refusing to enforce existing law. That is unacceptable. Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they obey.

To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist that laws be followed. This session, we will ban sanctuary cities in Texas.

At the same time, we must continue our efforts to help secure the border. The new administration in Washington has shown the potential to finally secure the border. I met with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly this week on the border to discuss the federal government’s efforts to strengthen border security. And I am encouraged.

However, while the federal government is ramping up, Texas will not retreat. My budget continues the investment made last session, including funding for DPS troopers and the National Guard.

Texas will not flinch in our resolve to keep Texans safe.



Happening Now

AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott’s Commission to Rebuild Texas today offered to the Texas Legislature wide-ranging recommendations to help Texas better Read the full story here...

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today delivered remarks to business leaders and investors at the Opportunity Austin Investor's Lunch. The Governor’s Read the full story here...

AUSTIN – First Lady Cecilia Abbott today attended the annual Salvation Army Super Lunch in Irving, where she recognized the Salvation Army for their Read the full story here...