We have all seen the images of migrants being transported by our Governor and Florida’s Governor to Martha’s Vineyard, Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago. We have also read the stories of the 10,000 Texas National Guard members who were deployed by our Governor for a year of service at the Texas/Mexico border. These are the pillars of “Operation Lone Star” - Governor Greg Abbott’s response to our broken immigration system. The busing of migrants has cost Texas taxpayers $14 million. Deploying 10,000 Texas Guard Members has cost Texas taxpayers $6 billion.
Like you, I pay a heck of a lot of my hard-earned income in taxes. Governor Abbott has spent over $6 billion of our hard-earned dollars and, by his own admission, has not fixed the problem. Imagine if we had spent that $6 billion funding our under-funded public school system and giving our teachers a fair salary comparable to other states. What if we had spent that $6 billion finding a cure for cancer. We just spent over $6 billion and didn’t fix a damn thing.
I believe we must protect our borders. My husband is a proud veteran who served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was stationed on the Texas and Florida coasts and served our country by protecting our borders. The Shank family definitely believes in border protection. It is vital to our national security.
Our immigration system is broken. The last time that we updated our immigration laws, Ronald Regan was our President. George Bush tried to fix our broken immigration system. He failed. Barack Obama tried to fix it. He failed. Donald Trump tried to fix it. He failed. Joe Biden is failing too.
The U.S. Constitution provides that immigration is the responsibility of the federal government. However, the federal government must work with border states in order to implement the nation’s immigration policies. Texas is the biggest border state. Immigration is part of our federal judicial system. We have federal immigration courts. We have federal immigration laws. If you are from another country but want to join your family who are U.S. citizens, your request will take approximately 20 years to legally process. If you live in a country where your life and your children’s lives are being threatened, you can file an asylum claim with U.S. Immigration and it will take approximately 6 years to process that application. I have litigated in the federal judicial system as a bankruptcy attorney for the past 40 years. I have represented debtors and creditors in bankruptcy cases in which millions and even billions of dollars were owed. If I told the Waco Bankruptcy Judge that it would take me 6 to 20 years to process a corporate Chapter 11 case, I would be laughed out of court. A typical million-, or billion-dollar corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is resolved within one year - two years at the most. A federal court system that takes 6 to 20 years to process a single case is broken and needs to be fixed.
If elected to the Texas House, I would gladly raise my hand and volunteer to help fix this broken system. It is going to take lawyers, experienced in the federal judicial system, to figure out how to fix our broken immigration system. It is also going to take both Republicans and Democrats working together to fix it.
As we look at the immigration issue, I believe that it is important to remember that Jesus Christ was an immigrant. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. King Herod ordered the wise men to find the baby Jesus so that Herod could pay homage to him. The wise men were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod. Jealous that the baby Jesus would someday displace him as King, Herod ordered the murder of all of the male baby boys in Bethlehem. Hundreds of male baby boys living in Bethlehem were murdered by King Herod. However, Joseph and Mary learned of King Herod’s murderous jealousy, and took the newborn baby Jesus and Ved to another country - Egypt. That, my friends, is immigration and asylum.
When I decided to run for the Texas House, I purchased a bracelet that I wear every day. It is now very worn but if you look closely you can see the following letters engraved....WWJD? Those letters stand for “What would Jesus do?” I think Jesus would work to fix our broken immigration laws if he was walking the streets of McLennan County, Texas today and was elected to serve this community in the Texas House of Representatives. I am raising my hand and volunteering to do just that.
I am humbly asking for your vote. Early voting starts on October 24th. Election Day is November 8th. I am ready to serve and would be honored to represent you and your family in the Texas House of Representatives.
Published in the Waco Tribune-Herald on 9/25/2022