80R3953 SR-D
  By: Rodriguez H.C.R. No. 64
         WHEREAS, The Texas portion of the border between the United
  States and the United Mexican States comprises more than half of the
  nearly 2,000-mile boundary between the two countries; as a result
  of this proximity, the State of Texas is uniquely aware of the
  importance of border protection to the security of the nation as a
  whole and sensitive to the impact of illegal immigration on the
  economic and social well-being of both countries; and
         WHEREAS, In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, border
  security and immigration have become fundamental issues in the
  development of national security policy; one such measure, the
  Secure Border Initiative, was unveiled by the Department of
  Homeland Security on November 2, 2005, and seeks to secure the
  United States' international borders by reducing illegal
  immigration; and
         WHEREAS, The Office of the Inspector General at the
  Department of Homeland Security estimates the costs of detaining
  illegal immigrants to be $1.2 billion annually, and current
  research indicates that detaining immigrant and asylum-seeking
  families does not deter illegal immigration; even so, a central
  component of the Secure Border Initiative is expanded detention
  authority for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the largest
  investigative branch of the department; and
         WHEREAS, Under this authority, the Department of Homeland
  Security recently opened the T. Don Hutto Residential Facility in
  Taylor, Texas, for the exclusive purpose of detaining immigrant and
  asylum-seeking families who are awaiting immigration or
  deportation proceedings; and
         WHEREAS, Of the 400 people detained in this privately owned
  and operated, for-profit detention center, approximately 200 are
  children; a typical day for a child detained at the Taylor facility
  includes only four hours of education and one hour of outdoor
  recreation; the meals served are reported to have caused digestive
  problems for the children, including infants who are forced to
  consume formula beyond the advised date due to a lack of alternative
  nutrition; and
         WHEREAS, The United States house and senate committees on
  appropriations have each expressed concern about children of
  families detained at the center, particularly about reports that
  many have been removed from their families and placed in separate
  facilities operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement; and
         WHEREAS, Children who have had no decisive role in their
  migration or flight should not be exposed to avoidable trauma; it is
  clearly within our means to provide these children and infants a
  safe environment without disruption to their families, nutrition,
  education, and exercise while their parents await immigration
  proceedings; and
         WHEREAS, A valid alternative to the current method of
  detaining immigrant families would be to release and reunite these
  children and their parents but closely monitor them under the
  Intensive Supervision Appearance Program, thereby reducing the
  emotional consequences to young children and the financial burden
  to taxpayers; and
         WHEREAS, Certainly the methods used to decrease illegal
  immigration and secure our borders must be effective, but
  considering the apparent consequences of family detention, every
  possible alternative to family detention should be examined,
  considered, and exhausted before such action is taken; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 80th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby respectfully request the U.S. Department of Homeland
  Security to reconsider all alternatives to the detention of
  immigrant and asylum-seeking families with children; and, be it
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, the
  speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the
  senate of the United States Congress, all members of the Texas
  delegation to the congress, and the secretary of the United States
  Department of Homeland Security, with the request that this
  resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
  memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.