81R1014 MMS-D
  By: Shapleigh S.C.R. No. 10
         WHEREAS, The efficient movement and careful surveillance of
  commercial and noncommercial traffic through the United States' 
  ports of entry are vital to this country's economic prosperity and
  security, yet serious bottlenecks are choking customs inspection
  lanes on the Texas-Mexico border; and
         WHEREAS, With its entry into the General Agreement on Tariffs
  and Trade in 1986 and the implementation of the North American Free
  Trade Agreement on January 1, 1994, Mexico has become one of the
  United States' primary trading partners; the strength of that
  partnership is evident in the combined value of U.S.-Mexico
  export-import trade, which rose from $81.5 billion in 1993, the
  year before NAFTA went into effect, to $183.7 billion in just the
  first six months of 2008; and
         WHEREAS, The overwhelming majority of U.S. trade with
  Mexico--80 percent in 2002--passes through Texas ports of entry,
  and over the past decade and a half these ports have seen a dramatic
  increase in commercial traffic; the number of commercial vehicles
  entering Texas from Mexico rose from 2.7 million in 1994 to more
  than 4.3 million in 2001, and some estimates predict that
  cross-border truck traffic in the Texas-Mexico border region may
  increase by 85 percent between 2000 and 2030; and
         WHEREAS, Neither the present border-crossing facilities nor
  the current systems for inspecting and monitoring cross-border
  traffic were designed to handle the volume of people, vehicles, and
  goods now passing through checkpoints in Texas; compounding the
  challenge posed by an inadequate infrastructure are the
  increasingly detailed inspections, which are designed to reduce the
  flow of illegal substances and to guard against terrorism; as a
  result of these pressures, the length of the wait time at Texas
  ports of entry is soaring; and
         WHEREAS, Delays at the border are detrimental to economic
  activity in the U.S., adding to a company's cost of shipping and
  impeding production at maquiladoras, which account for the largest
  segment of U.S.-Mexico trade and which depend on just-in-time
  delivery service to achieve savings and greater efficiency; and
         WHEREAS, Congestion caused by these delays also poses a
  threat to public safety--the sheer scale of commercial traffic
  means that only five percent of trucks entering Texas can be
  physically inspected; in addition, pollution from idling vehicles
  has harmed air quality to a marked degree and endangers the health
  of border residents; and
         WHEREAS, Robust foreign trade fosters domestic prosperity
  and generates federal revenue, and a portion of that revenue should
  be invested in support of customs operations, the smooth
  functioning of which promotes the continued expansion of exports
  and imports; expediting the flow of commercial traffic while
  ensuring appropriately rigorous inspections will require a federal
  commitment to fund improved infrastructure, including the
  construction of additional customs inspection lanes and the
  adoption of technology that will speed the movement of low-risk
  traffic, as well as an increase in customs personnel and customs
  operating hours; and
         WHEREAS, In promoting the secure, swift movement of vehicle
  and pedestrian traffic at U.S. land ports of entry, the border
  states also have a major role to play; Section 1303 of the Safe,
  Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A
  Legacy for Users directs the U.S. secretary of transportation to
  implement a coordinated border infrastructure program and serves as
  a funding source for border area infrastructure improvements and
  regulatory enhancements; and
         WHEREAS, Texas legislators and business people are acutely
  aware of the improvements that need to be made at ports of entry on
  the Rio Grande, if the economic promise of NAFTA is to be fully
  realized by this state and nation; these ports serve as a critical
  gateway to foreign trade, and it is essential that they promote,
  rather than hinder, the flow of that vital resource; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby respectfully urge the Congress of the United States to
  provide emergency funding and resources to begin immediately
  addressing increasing delays at U.S. ports of entry on the
  Texas-Mexico border; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the congress provide funding for 24-hour
  customs operations and for infrastructure improvements, including
  more customs inspection lanes and more customs inspectors, at
  border crossings between Texas and Mexico; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
  the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the
  senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the
  Texas delegation to the congress 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.