Texas Border Coalition Statement on the Upcoming Presidential Debate

EL PASO, Texas – El Paso County Commissioner David Stout, chairman of the Texas Border Coalition (TBC), today issued the following statement on the upcoming presidential debate: 

“There is no doubt that the issues surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border will be a focal point in tonight’s presidential debate. I urge both candidates to recognize that the border region encompasses much more than points of entry, security concerns, and migration. From Brownsville to El Paso, more than 2.8 million Americans call this region home. It’s where they work, raise families, and contribute to the prosperity of our nation. And we need federal policymakers to advance policies to help the region thrive.

“For example, while national voices are hyper focused on the partisan politics of border security, South Texas farmers are facing a dire drought that threatens their livelihoods and regional food supply. This is just one of many matters that border residents are facing that must be addressed.

“As President Biden and President Trump prepare their remarks and outline their vision for the future of the U.S.-Mexico border, the Texas Border Coalition strongly recommends they listen to the perspectives of those who live in border communities who, from first-hand experience, have a true understanding what’s required to ensure this region, and all of America, can prosper in peace and security. 

“On behalf of the mayors, city council members, county judges and executives, and business and community leaders, the Texas Border Coalition calls on President Biden, President Trump, and Congress to champion comprehensive policy solutions that can foster a secure, vibrant, and booming border region.” 

TBC’s policy recommendations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Immigration and Border Security 

  • Promptly pass comprehensive legislation, such as the bipartisan Dignity Act, that provides lasting relief to Dreamers, expands work visas, reforms the asylum system without undermining it, and ensures robust, secure, and fair border management that protects our trade and economic interests.

  • Increase investments in technology, infrastructure and staffing to facilitate the efficiency of legitimate trade and travel at land border crossings (Land Ports of Entry or LPOE’s) rather than erecting a costly and ineffective border wall between border crossings.

  • Create effective southbound border checkpoints to stem the flow of illegal cash and firearms into Mexico; upgrade roads, technology and infrastructure surrounding the LPOE’s to facilitate effective southbound checks; track license plates without interfering with the flow of legitimate traffic.

  • Support constructive dialogue between security officials and border communities prior to determining appropriate border security techniques.

  • Bolster coordination between local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies along the border, including interoperable communications equipment and personnel, and the FirstNet communication system for first responders.

  • Increase meaningful oversight and accountability within agencies for border management, refugee, and immigration programs, including a meaningful return on investment (ROI) on investment of state funds in border operations.

Economic Development

  • Support increased investments in border region infrastructure to grow trade at LPOE’s including transportation (roads, bridges & toll roads), warehousing, cold storage, etc.

  • Support the export sales tax program, sometimes called manifiestos, for tourism shopping that enhances economic activity in border communities and statewide.

  • Expand partnerships with regional border economic development groups (Rio Grande Valley Partnership, Laredo Economic Development Corporation, Borderplex Alliance, and other border EDC’s and chambers).

  • Support full appropriation from previously dedicated hotel-motel tax revenue for marketing Texas as an international tourist destination.

  • Support increased business opportunities under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) including ally-shoring and near-shoring that facilitate economic connections for border communities.

  • Support programs and incentives for new investments to attract, retain and expand businesses in the border region, including the U.S. State Department’s Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity.

  • Support new state programs to replace Chapter 313 as a tool for local economic development.

Health Care

  • Support funding to combat emerging public health threats, including public health programs and services through the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies including vaccine education.

  • Support programs for opioid treatment and detox for the border region.

  • Support access to healthy food, nutrition and physical fitness education for border communities, and fully fund programs such as Healthy South Texas, Healthy Living/Viviendo Mejor and others that provide evidence-based chronic disease prevention and management for asthma, cancer, obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases in the border region.

  • Provide input and support for the Border Health Task Force.

  • Support enhanced programming for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment/prevention, especially youth mental health services and training.

  • Support alternate indigent care services, i.e. hospital districts in the border region.

  • Support the development of a skilled workforce for all areas of healthcare and telemedicine, including streamlined admission and licensing for doctors and nurses trained in Mexico.


  • Support recent reforms of Texas public education, and ensure adequate and equitable funding for students in all Texas school districts.

  • Support increased investment in higher education, especially programs that support connections with business and career readiness.

  • Support increased investment in programs to promote students’ workforce readiness, including dual credit, workforce and apprenticeship programs.

  • Support funding and accreditation for workforce training programs.

  • Support education in community colleges.

  • Support the continuation of in-state university tuition for undocumented students.

  • Increase job training opportunities and occupational programs that improve independence for persons with disabilities. In coordination with TBC’s health care priorities, support the development of a skilled workforce for all areas of healthcare and telemedicine, including streamlined admission and licensing for doctors and nurses trained in Mexico.


  • Support development of a long-term water plan to provide the border region a dependable, sustainable water supply to meet its growing economy and population.

  • Increase investments in highway and rail transportation infrastructure to connect LPOE’s and maritime ports with existing freight arteries.

  • Increase investment in the Coordinated Border Infrastructure (CBI) program and ensure CBI funding comes to the border region.

  • Give state and local governments more flexibility to invest in border highway, rail and maritime port infrastructure affected by international commercial traffic.

  • Support Public-Private Partnerships (P3’s) to increase investment in infrastructure to facilitate effective international trade routes.

  • Engage with USDOT, TxDOT, regional transportation authorities and the Secretary of State’s Border Trade Advisory Committee on behalf of border transportation projects.

  • Facilitate trusted carrier programs like the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) for cross-border freight shipments; create efficiencies for northbound cargo at LPOE’s and maritime ports.

  • Support broadband infrastructure expansion in the border region through public-private partnerships that leverage private sector expertise and investment with federal and state programs.

  • Identify long-term funding solutions for broadband infrastructure in the State of Texas.

  • Support continuation of the Donation Acceptance Program.


About the Texas Border Coalition (TBC)
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, and economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.8 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville. TBC is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development, and health care. For more information, visit the coalition website at www.texasbordercoalition.org. Follow TBC on Facebook and Twitter [#TXBorderCoalition] to keep current on the latest news about the coalition and its activities.

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