About Texas Border Coalition
The Texas Border Coalition is the collective voice of border communities on issues that affect Texas-Mexico border region quality of life. TBC is comprised of mayors and city council members, county judges and other county executives, and business and community leaders. We represent more than 2.8 million people in dozens of Texas border communities from Brownsville to El Paso.
For decades, Texas has not made a strategic investment in border communities that we have seen in other parts of the state. Failing to provide for the border region increases costs to the state, affecting family incomes across Texas.
Texas must invest in and create an economic engine in the border region that will allow this part of the state to grow and prosper.
Education and Workforce
The border lags behind the rest of Texas in educational attainment. 20 percent of all border residents (age 25 or older) have fewer than nine years of schooling. Only 11 percent have a bachelor’s degree and 6 percent have a post-graduate degree. Meanwhile, a fast growing unskilled labor force, coupled with limited job opportunities, creates high unemployment and lower wages.
The opportunity for Texas to thrive by strengthening the economy of the border is limitless. First, our workforce must be educated, skilled and able to carry the Texas economy forward.
Border residents face numerous health-related challenges – many of which are exacerbated by the region’s lack of health care facilities and infrastructure.
To ensure a brighter future for border citizens, we must improve access to health care.
Immigration and Border Security
U.S. immigration policies ignore the important role immigrants play in the state and national economies and jeopardize prosperity and global competitiveness along the Texas-Mexico border.
We must adopt fair and effective immigration policies that strengthens the border and recognizes the economic contributions immigrants make to the U.S. and Texas economies.
The region’s ports of entry and transportation infrastructure are being strained by increasing international trade, growth of the Maquiladora industry, a rising population and expansion of commercial and commuter traffic.
If the border region is to realize its economic potential, our roads, bridges and freight lines demand increased attention.
Recent TBC Successes
- Throughout 2015, TBC was active in promoting its agenda at the state and federal levels. In Washington, TBC testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on efforts to strengthen the security of border communities, provided important support to the approval of border-specific provisions creating new programs for expediting freight in the five-year highway bill, and helped secure funding increases for health, workforce development and education programs. We were able preserve funding for programs that facilitate legitimate travel and tourism in the face of congressional frustration over the inability of Customs and Border Protection agencies to fulfill critical hiring.
- In the 84th Texas Legislature, TBC again led the successful fight to preserve the manifiesto export sales tax rebate program, secure approval of a commerce coordinator in the Governor’s office or Secretary of State’s office, enact a new program to reduce wait times for northbound shippers, facilitate improvements to the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, align curricula for career and technical education programs, create new law enforcement/public safety training facilities on the border, facilitate telemedicine reimbursement under Texas Medicaid and secure border school district participation in the JET career training program.
- Other TBC accomplishments involved mitigating the damage to programs related to border security and turning the program toward more beneficial outcomes (such as a Department of Public Safety border training facility and crime information center), and avoiding the repeal of programs (such as in-state tuition for undocumented students) working with allies to prevent punishment of so-called “sanctuary cities.”