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STATEMENT BY SENATOR ELIOT SHAPLEIGH ON $2 MILLION TEXAS EMERGING TECHNOLOGY FUND AWARD TO EL PASO'S SECURE ORIGINS, INC.
October 3, 2007

"As policies are crafted in Austin and DC, our vibrant, bi-national region must speak with a firm, confident and united voice about a border based on fast, secure and smart movement of people and products to build 21st century jobs for all our people."

Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh, www.shapleigh.org

The following statement was given today at a press conference with Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson at the El Paso Club, Chase Bank Tower:

El Paso –  By working together and having a shared vision of a secure, fast, smart border, we can make an impact on the future of every border citizen

This morning, at the Governor’s Border Security Council, we made that message the key to Texas’ future. Most Texans do not know that Mexico is by far Texas’ largest trading partner.  Moreover, 38.6% percent of Texas exports go to Chihuahua.

To our colleagues in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Pampa, we can truthfully say, your prosperity depends on our bridge.

As you know, we recently created the International Intelligent Transportation Research Center in El Paso under the Texas Transportation Institute. Way back in 1999, we passed the nation’s first "one stop inspection" bridge bill to launch a revolution in the use of technology to cross people and product safely and rapidly to support trade in the 21st century.

Just this session, we filed a secure manufacturing tax credit which is the innovative, market driven solution to finance the secure movement of people and product.  We also passed an enhanced driver’s license bill to put an RFID chip in a driver’s license at a cost of $40 to speed border identification processes.

We have pending with the FHWA a demonstration project to roll out cutting edge solutions to the challenges of international trade in a post 9-11 world. Four weeks ago, along with 10 legislative leaders from the ten border states, we toured D.C. to ask U.S. Senate and congressional leaders to put secure movement of people and product as a priority in the immigration debate. We delivered proposed legislation to create the secure manufacturing credit and mandate the "one stop" model at the federal level to shed repetitive, dated, and frankly unsafe inspection procedures.

In two weeks, state legislators from all ten Border states will meet in Santa Fe to again deliver a strong message of safe, fast, secure movement. Each nation in our hemisphere has a duty to protect her citizens—but each leader has a responsibility to create the jobs that guarantee a strong future!

Security can not work if prosperity and trade are not in the solution. With Secure Origins Inc., Intelligent Software Agents, and the Texas ISA Center, we are moving forward on better solutions.

As policies are crafted in Austin and DC, our vibrant, bi-national region must speak with a firm, confident and united voice about a border based on fast, secure and smart movement of people and products to build 21st century jobs for all our people.

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