Anti-Israel Protests at UT, Border Update, and Other News of Interest

April 26, 2024

Governor Abbott and UT President Take Strong Stand Against Anti-Israel Demonstrators

I have been a strong and vocal advocate in support of Israel, and in underscoring how important it is for Texas to always stand with our most important ally in the Middle East.

On Wednesday at the University of Texas in Austin, over 200 students walked out of class in protest against Israel. As turmoil and chaos ensued, police offers in riot gear quickly intervened, leading to at least 55 arrests, 28 students, 1 faculty, and 26 protestors who were not students. (I’ll call those the outside agitators).

UT President Jay Hartzell said, “The protestors tried to deliver on their stated intent to occupy campus. People not affiliated with UT joined them, and many ignored University officials’ continual pleas for restraint and to immediately disperse. The University did what we said we would do in the face of prohibited actions.”

Governor Abbott swiftly deployed more than 100 troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Governor stated, “Students joining in hate-filled, antisemitic protests at any public college or university in Texas should be expelled.” I applaud the Governor’s swift and decisive actions in dealing with these protestors, some of whom even threw feces at law enforcement officers.              

Hosting Legislators from Around the U.S. at the Texas Border

I recently led a security tour of the border for senior lawmakers from Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.  With the influx of fentanyl and other illegal drugs, human trafficking and weapons flowing over the border, every state is now a border state. These colleagues witnessed firsthand the border crisis and the disastrous effect of the Biden Administration’s policies. 

For the week of April 3-9 alone, more than 12,000 apprehensions of illegals were made at the Texas border. More than 175 pounds of cocaine was seized, along with almost 700 pounds of marijuana, over 750 pounds of methamphetamine, and other illicit drug and weapon seizures.

On a helicopter tour of the border region, I had the opportunity to inspect the latest enforcement efforts by our state.   

Honoring our Jewish Friends During Passover

Passover began on Monday and runs through April 30th. Our Jewish friends have been celebrating Passover for more than 3,300 years – the longest national celebration in history. As the Passover holiday is observed commemorating the release of the Jews from Egypt, we are saddened that more than 100 people are still being held hostage by the Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization. That means 100 families will have a missing chair at their Passover feast table. We remain prayerful that these hostages may be returned to their families, and that peace will reign in this region.

Municipal Elections are Underway

Don’t forget to get out and vote to make your voice heard in your local elections for mayor and city council. Turnout for city elections is often less than 10% of registered voters. These are important elections directly affecting the operation of your city and town. Election Day is Saturday, May 4th, with early voting underway this week. 

Texas Jumps Seven Spots in ALEC Economic Competitiveness Study

Last week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published its 17th edition of “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” I’m pleased to report that Texas has risen to sixth place for economic outlook in this study, up from 13th place in 2023. The rise is due in large part to our record-breaking property tax cuts passed by the Texas Legislature last fall. The great work in “Rich States, Poor States” is clear evidence that Texas’ pursuit of the ALEC principles of free markets and limited government is working. This is our great state’s highest ranking ever in this study.

It was a great day at the ballpark for the Texas Rangers Opening Day with Governor Abbott.  I’m shown here with my son Josh and my daughter-in-law Sarah.