I’m so glad that many of you got some really good rains, unfortunately others, not so much. May is one of our typically wet months in Texas, so hoping and praying that we all get our needed amounts of rainfall!
May is also a graduation month; so, wishing all of your high school and college graduates all the best as they move forward with further education or their careers.
We are striving to help our members, other landowners and policy makers navigate through the border security & mass immigration challenges. This current situation is like none we’ve ever seen or experienced before, not even in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector.
Since there is no acknowledgement from the Administration that there is a border security issue, landowners are feeling forgotten and left on their own to fend for themselves. Border Patrol along with state and local law enforcement are doing the best that they can to help fill in the gaps, but landowners want and deserve answers and help.
We feel that STPRA is that vehicle that landowners should jump on to advocate for change because of our 15 years of experience on the issue and the successes that we had: limit of landowner liability from trespassers and law enforcement, avenues for landowner compensation (which we’re still working on) and our relationship development and avocation with and for Border Patrol by helping them get the technology and tools that they need to best secure our border. That relationship building has encouraged more landowners to grant access to Border Patrol, which has helped achieve those successes.
Last week we had the opportunity to present the STPRA model at a big landowner meeting in Uvalde, and we will again next week in George West.
In addition, we are supporting SB 576, a bill in the state legislature that would give law enforcement, including Border Patrol, the prosecutorial muscle needed to help end human smuggling. STPRA is pleased to endorse “The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act” to address the migrant influx at the border, put forth by Senators John Cornyn and Kyrsten Sinema, and Congressmen Henry Cuellar and Tony Gonzales. This legislation, if passed, would end the current dysfunctional system of allowing apprehended asylum-seekers to vanish into the shadows once they have been given a notice to appear before a magistrate at a later date. The act will provide the resources needed to adjudicate the asylum-seekers in a timely manner at their point of contact along the border.
We have enlisted the assistance of Donnice Thode, who is helping document landowner damage and helping to get information out on our social media platforms. You can submit property damage information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
STPRA is also working to improve the cell phone connectivity for landowners in more remote areas. After looking at the radio communications option discussed earlier this year, it looks like improved cell service would be the best option. The Brooks County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator, Ruben “Benny” Ramirez, is helping to put together a tri-county arrangement with stimulus money for a cell tower; to include input from AT&T First Net and VTX Communications. I’ll keep you updated as this arrangement comes to fruition.
We have a Taxation webinar on the 11th of this month, and are formulating a landowner meeting in Zapata. If there’s an additional need in any other area, please reach out and let us know.
Until next month,