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Abbott Releases Comprehensive Border Security Plan

Gage Skidmore/Texas Tribune
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott wants to increase security funding across a wide range of programs.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the presumptive GOP nominee for governor, laid out an extensive security and safety plan Tuesday in Dallas as part of his campaign.

In his speech, Abbott called it the Keep Texans Safe plan. It includes more enforcement of human trafficking laws, and a call to follow Georgia's lead in creating a program to help people who have been rescued from human trafficking rings.

"I want Texas to adopt a comprehensive care plan to provide victim services for sexually exploited minors," Abbott said.

Abbott is pushing for tougher enforcement of sex offender laws, lamenting that many of the state's top 10 most wanted sexual assault offenders are wanted for failure to register as a sex offender.

Abbott also wants to spend more money to process a backlog of evidence collected in rape investigations, in hopes of increasing arrests.

His Democratic opponent, State Sen. Wendy Davis, has also pushed to process that evidence. A bill she carried in 2011 lead to an additional $11 million in state funding to cut a backlog of unprocessed evidence from 20,000 rape cases.

Abbott’s plan also focused on the Texas/Mexico border, where he wants to nearly double spending for Texas Department of Public Safety patrols.

"I'll mobilize more than one thousand DPS personnel for a continuous surge operation. And add 500 more troopers over a four-year period to build a permanent border shield," Abbott said.

He did not specify exactly how he planned to fund that mobilization, although Abbott did say he expected costs to decrease as there are fewer illegal crossings which leads to fewer arrests and incarcerations.

Abbott also wants to make sure no undocumented people are being employed by the state. He wants to require all state agencies to use the E-Verify system that checks a prospective employee's legal status. He did not extend that requirement to private sector jobs.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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