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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he is exploring options on how to address problems at Colony Ridge, a massive housing development north of Houston that’s become a hub for illegal immigrants thanks to financing methods that circumvent any need for proof-of-citizenship documents.
Paxton, fresh off the sidelines after a failed attempt by the legislature to impeach him, said he received a briefing on the development this week after it was the subject of an investigation by The Daily Wire. “I got a briefing on this yesterday,” Paxton told radio host Michael Berry, calling it “completely insane that they can set up these villages with illegal immigrants.”
Paxton said, however, that legally there is no “clear path” to stopping the development’s growth, which has led to a spike in crime that many believe is tied to Mexican cartel activity.
“The legislature could address this and should address this. Because right now, we don’t have a real clear path to being able to stop it, even though it’s completely insane that they can set up these villages with illegal immigrants,” Paxton said.
“We can maybe affect the financing or the financial aspect of it to some degree but I don’t think right now the legislature has given me the authority to do anything about it,” Paxton added. “So we’re looking at whether we have some authority to do something with deceptive trade practices”
Paxton joins a growing chorus of Republican leaders who are calling for action on the growing development right outside of Houston. Colony Ridge covers nearly 60 square miles, or about the size of Washington, D.C., and it has come under heavy criticism since The Daily Wire’s report.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican and the second highest ranking official in Texas, said this week that he will call on Governor Greg Abbott to convene a special legislative session to address Colony Ridge.
“Once I get a little more legal foundation on this to see what we can do I am going to ask Governor Abbott to address some of these issues in a special session,” Patrick said. “We can’t have entire cities of people who are here illegally with basically no law enforcement, in some cases I’m told no running water, it’s a very dangerous place to be. This is not what America was built on. This massive complex of people here illegally creating their own city north of Houston, it’s just unacceptable.”
Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis also commented on Colony Ridge, blaming “weak, spineless leaders” who he says are “permitting and facilitating sprawling developments to house thousands of illegal immigrants who have broken our nation’s laws”
How have we gotten to a point in this country where we are permitting and facilitating sprawling developments to house thousands of illegal immigrants who have broken our nation's laws?
Weak, spineless leaders. Our national sovereignty is at stake. We must stop excusing inaction… https://t.co/Dzs4KwRWjX
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) September 21, 2023
Multiple U.S. congressmen from Texas have voiced their concern about Colony Ridge. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) told The Daily Wire he also received a report on Colony Ridge that he found “highly concerning.”
“I’m not in a position to fully articulate exactly what’s happening other than it is problematic and a continuation of these wide open border policies,” Roy said.
Representative Brian Babin (R-TX) called Colony Ridge a “pressing problem that needs immediate attention” in an interview with The Daily Wire.
“I’m concerned about Colony Ridge,” Babin said. “The bottom line here is that for the sovereignty of the United States for the safety of every American, we’ve got to close the loopholes that allow for the exploitation of America’s generous laws.”
Have you heard about America’s ‘largest illegal immigrant settlement’ that's said to be a hub of cartel activity?
I visited Colony Ridge for @realDailyWire to learn about a development that's home to 40k-75k people and is in the midst of a rapid expansion.
Here's what I found: pic.twitter.com/SqVkWKT7zM
— Spencer Lindquist 🇺🇸 (@SpencerLndqst) September 18, 2023
But despite a growing number of Republican elected officials and figures calling for action on the growing development, it is unclear how Governor Abbott intends to address Colony Ridge. He is already expected to convene a special legislative session next month to address education policy in Texas, and could add the illegal immigrant community as an issue.
“The concerns raised about Colony Ridge are unacceptable,” Abbott spokesman Andrew Mahaleris told The Daily Wire before pointing to actions the Governor had already taken, and an article featuring claims by Colony Ridge developer William “Trey” Harris and his attorney disputing recent reports about the development. Abbott’s office went on to point The Daily Wire to what appears to be a marketing video from Colony Ridge, posted by the author of the Center Square article Bethany Blankley, showcasing the most presentable portions of the development before ending with the company’s corporate logo.
Abbott’s office has not publicly addressed the $1.4 million in contributions that the governor’s campaign received from Harris or the additional $100,000 that his campaign received from his wife Celeste Harris, whose occupation is listed as “Colony Ridge.”