Lozano proposes policy changes to increase border security
by Shane Ersland
Jul 11, 2014 | 559 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Rep. J.M. Lozano discussed immigration reform with local Republicans Tuesday in Portland and highlighted several policy changes he will soon propose to improve border security.

Lozano was featured as the keynote speaker of the San Patricio County Republican Women’s monthly meeting at the North Shore Country Club and noted the recent attention drawn to children victimized by human trafficking.

“Recently, you’ve seen pictures of children on TV,” Lozano said. “It’s a problem we haven’t seen on TV in this magnitude. But it’s been going on for awhile.”

Lozano referenced recent reports that 90,000 children could illegally cross the Mexican border this year.

“So far, the White House has done nothing,” Lozano said. “In 2011, we had 327,000 illegal immigrants apprehended. But, because it’s children, we now are seeing it as a problem. Although these are federal issues, our state can do some things.”

Lozano proposed reinforced Department of Public Safety units along the border and increased penalties for human traffickers.

“It’s currently a third degree felony,” he said. “Because it’s children, the human smuggler should be facing a life sentence. I plan to introduce a bill to make it a life sentence.”

Benjamin Falk, who flies Black Hawk helicopters for the U.S. Army Reserve, supported Lozano’s proposal to utilize more helicopters to combat illegal immigration. He said he flies Black Hawks through Jim Wells, Brooks, Kleberg, San Patricio, and Aransas Counties.

“We see illegal immigrants all the time,” Falk said. “I can attest to the importance of having (helicopters) out there. We should be seeing more Black Hawks soon.”

Lozano was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and moved with his family to the U.S. legally when he was a toddler. He said additional funding needs to be allocated to secure the border to prevent the victimization of children from human traffickers.

“It’s easy for us to say we can take these children in,” Lozano said. “We currently have tens of thousands of orphans. If we cannot provide good homes for children we already have here in this country, what are we going to do with children from other countries?”

Rep. Todd Hunter attended the meeting and reiterated Lozano’s request for additional funding for border security.

“It’s worse than you think on money securing the border,” Hunter said. “I’m getting a little tired of folks giving good speeches and doing nothing.”

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