By Noriega                                            H.C.R. No. 10
         77R2125 ELG-D                           
                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
 1-1           WHEREAS, Over 50 million private vehicles passed through
 1-2     ports of entry on the Texas-Mexico border in federal fiscal year
 1-3     2000, and the number of private vehicle crossings is projected to
 1-4     continue to increase; and
 1-5           WHEREAS, Many of these private vehicles are driven by
 1-6     commuters who cross the border routinely for work, business,
 1-7     shopping, or to visit family; and
 1-8           WHEREAS, The wait for private vehicles to pass through border
 1-9     checkpoints varies from a few minutes to a few hours, and waits are
1-10     even longer during peak times; and
1-11           WHEREAS, It is vital to the economies of the United States,
1-12     Mexico, and the border communities that there be a free flow of
1-13     traffic, including both cargo trucks and private vehicles, across
1-14     the border; long waits at ports of entry discourage both private
1-15     and commercial travel and deprive communities on both sides of the
1-16     border of the economic benefits to be gained by connections between
1-17     the United States and Mexico; and
1-18           WHEREAS, Dedicated Commuter Lanes (DCLs) have been in place
1-19     at ports of entry on the U.S.-Canada border for many years, and are
1-20     currently being used on the U.S.-Mexico border in Otay Mesa,
1-21     California, and in El Paso; waiting times for DCL participants at
1-22     these ports of entry are rarely more than a few minutes; and
1-23           WHEREAS, DCLs are designated traffic lanes at border
1-24     checkpoints that are restricted to the vehicles of frequent border
 2-1     travelers who have passed rigorous background checks that qualify
 2-2     them for expedited entry and minimal inspection; their vehicles are
 2-3     equipped with electronic tags that signal the identity of the
 2-4     driver and authorized passengers to border personnel, allowing them
 2-5     to be processed quickly; those cleared to participate are assessed
 2-6     an annual fee for the privilege of using the lanes; and
 2-7           WHEREAS, Out of more than a half-million vehicular entries at
 2-8     Otay Mesa and despite frequent random compliance checks of DCL
 2-9     users, federal officers did not detect any illegal aliens or drugs
2-10     coming through the dedicated lanes; and
2-11           WHEREAS, The automated nature of the DCLs frees up resources
2-12     to reduce the illegal movement of people and prohibited goods into
2-13     the United States; DCLs encourage commerce and legal entries, while
2-14     deterring port runners and other immigration violators and have
2-15     proven to strike a highly effective balance between enforcement and
2-16     facilitation; fewer vehicles waiting in traffic also means less
2-17     emissions and less pollution; now, therefore, be it
2-18           RESOLVED, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas
2-19     hereby request the Texas Department of Transportation to assist
2-20     local efforts and to work with the federal government to establish
2-21     Dedicated Commuter Lanes at Texas-Mexico border crossings in order
2-22     to facilitate cross-border employment and the free movement of
2-23     people and goods; and, be it further
2-24           RESOLVED, That the secretary of state forward an official
2-25     copy of this resolution to the executive director of the Texas
2-26     Department of Transportation.