Senator Hinojosa has led the effort to properly equip the Department of Public Safety to combat drug traffickers and help ease the financial burdens that have been unfairly placed on border communities. Senator Hinojosa understands the importance of giving law enforcement the tools they need to keep our families safe and strengthen border security without harming the business and cultural relations with Mexico that allow our region to be one of the most dynamic in the nation. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hinojosa has a significant impact on the state budget writing process and ensures that critical discussions focus on the needs of our border communities and our law enforcement. Senator Hinojosa secured $10.2 million in grants for local border security and added language to the budget that made the South Texas College Center for Public Safety Excellence eligible for grant funds.
Another priority for Senator Hinojosa is ensuring that law enforcement and prosecutors have the resources they need to eliminate human trafficking. In the most recent legislative session, Senator Hinojosa helped secure $15,126,000 for Border Security Operations – Border Prosecution Grants and funding for Anti-Gang Centers. Senator Hinojosa previously voted for legislation that increased penalties for human trafficking, increased victim identification and services, and expanded the duties of the Human Trafficking Task Force. Senator Hinojosa also secured $1.2 million for 6 additional agents for the Special Investigations Unit at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to enhance its efforts to fight human trafficking. With the additional resources, TABC ramped up its investigative and enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking along the border. Additionally, Senator Hinojosa supported legislation that created the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center (TTIC), a multiagency crime information center in the Rio Grande Valley that is operated by local law enforcement and DPS. The Texas Transnational Intelligence Center is key for the Rio Grande Valley in protecting our border and Senator Hinojosa continues to secure funding to support its operations.