April 8, 2022
It was great to see so many of you at the Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo a couple of weeks ago! I hope it was both fun and beneficial to your experience as a cattle producer for those of you able to make it. That’s always our goal, so hopefully, we hit the mark again this year.
Also, congratulations are in order for our new slate of TSCRA officers and leaders announced during the convention. Arthur Uhl rotated up to be president, Carl Ray Polk moved up to become first vice president, and Stephen Diebel of Victoria was elected second vice president. I won’t rehash everything, but you can read more here if you missed it.
On a personal level, I also want to say thank you to Hughes Abell, who just concluded his term as Cattle Raiser’s president. It was a pleasure working together, and thank you for your leadership and service to the Association.
Looking forward, our next big meeting will be the TSCRA Summer Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 9-11. We’ll have a much greater focus on the policy aspects of TSCRA during this meeting. Keep an eye on your daily TSCRA Update email for more details. Registration should open to the public very soon.
If serving on a TSCRA policy committee is of interest, now is the time to sign up. Any member of the Association may serve on one policy committee of their choosing, subject to appointment by the president. To learn more, visit https://tscra.org/sign-up-now-for-a-tscra-policy-committee.
Even if you’re not a member of a committee, you can still attend the committee meetings during the TSCRA Summer Meeting and TSCRA Policy Conference. You will not be able to vote on any motions or policy matters, but it’s a great way to check things out and see which committee issues interest you.
Here in Austin, we’re already planning for our committee duties at the TSCRA Summer Meeting and getting ready for another round of elections. Primary runoff elections will be on May 24, with early voting from May 16-20. The TSCRA PAC will release our voting recommendations for those runoff elections in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
Border security is also back in the national spotlight as the Biden administration prepares to end Chapter 42 expulsions. Often referred to as the “stay in Mexico program,” Chapter 42 of the U.S. Health Code was used during the COVID-19 pandemic to require asylum seekers to return to Mexico or their home country while they awaited a decision on whether the U.S. would accept their asylum request.
With federal COVID restrictions easing in many areas, the administration is also ending the Chapter 42 expulsions in May. For those of you along the border, you know illegal border crossings have been a persistent problem over the last year. Still, the enforcement of Chapter 42 has helped deter many migrants from coming across the border in massive numbers, as we saw with the caravans last year. Unfortunately, now that those restrictions will expire, we anticipate another large surge in illegal border crossings.
From the government relations standpoint, we never stopped working on border issues, though they faded from the national limelight for a few months. However, with the end of Chapter 42, there is renewed urgency to the situation.
To that end, Governor Abbott announced new border security measures on Wednesday and is expected to make additional announcements next week.
We are continuing our work to call for additional enforcement and security measures to stem the tide and prepare for the coming crisis along the border. I’ll have more to share in the coming weeks, but be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most timely updates.
I think that’s all for now, so until next time, stay safe and take care!
Jeremy Fuchs is the director of policy communications and government relations for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.