Chairman and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today in support of Senate Bill 11, which would create a state misdemeanor or, depending on the context, a felony for those who illegally enter Texas via an international border. My name is Selene Rodriguez, I am a policy director for the Secure & Sovereign Frontier campaign at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

I grew up in a small border town no one had heard of until a few years ago—Del Rio, TX. I had never left Del Rio until I turned 18 and joined the Marine Corps where I served as an intelligence specialist. Growing up in Del Rio, and having a good grasp on the importance of national security, I can say with full confidence that Senate Bill 11 is a constitutional bill that is necessary for the defense of Texas against the state-cartel nexus that increasingly controls Mexico.

The federal government has abdicated its duty to defend this nation by securing our southern border. This administration has broken records for illegal border entries and the numbers continue to rise. Due to dangerous incentives to illegally enter into this country, more and more people continue to subject themselves to cartel smuggling operations and often become victims of human trafficking, which only benefit cartels and the corrupt Mexican government. It is now up to Texas to protect our sovereignty and fight with the full power of the U.S. Constitution behind us.

There is nothing that prevents the states from asserting what the late Justice Antonin Scalia described as “what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there.”

This legislation can serve as another effective deterrent put in place by the state to discourage unlawful entries and even save lives. The state of Texas has the authority, and the duty, to defend our communities and assert Texas’ legitimate constitutional powers. I ask you to vote yes on this bill, and stand for not just Texans, but all Americans who have to face the realities of cartel orchestrated border chaos.

Thank you for your time and consideration.