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[Congressional Record: July 19, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S7950-S7955]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []
                        PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS

  The following petitions and memorials were laid before the Senate and 
were referred or ordered to lie on the table as indicated:


       POM--128. A concurrent resolution adopted by the Senate of 
     the Legislature of the State of Texas relative to the 
     addition of 18 federal judges and commensurate staff to 
     handle the current and anticipated caseloads along the United 
     States-Mexico border, to the Committee on the Judiciary.

                  Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 12

       Whereas, The strategy of the United States Department of 
     Justice to reduce crime along the United States border by 
     focusing on illegal immigration, alien smuggling, and drug 
     trafficking generated an explosion in arrests by agents from 
     the United States Customs Service, the Drug Enforcement 
     Administration, and the Immigration and Naturalization 
     Service at border checkpoints; and
       Whereas, In 1999, the five federal southwestern judicial 
     districts along the border, including two in Texas, received 
     27 percent of all criminal case filings in the United States 
     while the other 73 percent were spread among the country's 
     remaining 84 federal district courts; and
       Whereas, From 1996 to 1997, the total number of federal 
     criminal cases filed in the Western and Southern districts of 
     Texas doubled, and from 1997 to 1999, the number of drug 
     cases filed in the Western District of Texas increased 64 
     percent and 100 percent in the Southern District of Texas; 
       Whereas, Judicial resources in the five southwestern border 
     districts have increased by only four percent, and since 
     1990, congress has not approved any new judges for the 
     Western District of Texas, which leads the nation in the 
     filing of drug cases; and
       Whereas, As a result of the federal courts being inundated 
     by this unprecedented number of new drug and illegal 
     immigration indictments, the federal authorities no longer 
     prosecute offenders caught with less than a substantial 
     amount of contraband; these cases are instead referred to the 
     local district attorneys in the border counties of Texas to 
     prosecute; and
       Whereas, As a result, local governments in the border 
     counties, who are among the poorest in the United States, are 
     being overwhelmed with the costs involved in prosecuting and 
     incarcerating federal criminals; and
       Whereas, The annual cost to prosecute these federal 
     criminal cases ranges from $2.7 million to approximately $8.2 
     million per district attorney jurisdiction, and it is 
     anticipated that the total cost will reach $25 million per 
     year; and
       Whereas, The federal government has infinitely more 
     resources than state and local governments and in turn must 
     shoulder a larger portion of the financial burden; now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas 
     hereby respectfully urge the Congress of the United States to 
     authorize an additional 18 federal judges and commensurate 
     staff to handle the current and anticipated caseloads along 
     the United States-Mexico border and to fully reimburse local 
     governments for the costs incurred in prosecuting and 
     incarcerating federal defendants; and, be it further
       Resolved, That the Texas secretary of state forward 
     official copies of this resolution to the president of the 
     United States, to the speaker of the house of representatives 
     and the president of the Senate of the United States 
     Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to 
     the congress with the request that this resolution be 
     officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial 
     to the Congress of the United States of America.