From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2010
CONTACT: Oscar Garza
(512) 463-0120 office
(512) 970-2512 cell

Senator Hinojosa files southbound checkpoint legislation

AUSTIN — Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, filed legislation today that would authorize the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to jointly establish both roving and permanent southbound checkpoints along the state's international border.

Senate Bill 294 authorizes TABC and DPS to determine the possibility of establishing the checkpoints, and grants these agencies the authority to set up inspection points within one-mile from the border in order to prevent firearms, bulk currency, drugs and drug paraphernalia, as well as other contraband from being taken into Mexico.

"Stopping the flow of guns and money from illicit-drug purchases into Mexico is not an easy task," said Senator Hinojosa. "Both DPS and TABC officers can help bolster ongoing federal efforts to monitor traffic going into Mexico, and provide critically needed manpower for carrying out consistent and simultaneous inspections near our ports of entry."

"As this bill moves through the legislative process, we will be working closely with stakeholders, local law enforcement, and the local business community to help shape legislation that will minimize any interruptions of commerce going south while at the same time halting the flow of guns and cash going into Mexico."

Senator Hinojosa serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and is a member of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice. He worked with state leaders in previous sessions to secure $120 million on training and technology for border security and led efforts to fund $10.7 billion for public safety and criminal justice programs during the 81st Legislative Session.

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