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The Republican Party of Texas unanimously passed a resolution calling on Governor Greg Abbott to convene a special legislative session to address Colony Ridge, the massive housing development north of Houston that’s become a hub for illegal immigrants.
The resolution, which passed by a vote of 61-0, says a special legislative session must be convened in order to “prevent further settlement of illegal aliens in Colony Ridge and any other areas of Texas.” The power to call a special legislative session is with Abbott, who has already been urged by the state’s Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to do the same.
The party’s resolution honed in on a number of specific concerns highlighted in The Daily Wire’s investigation of the development, noting that “the developer allows for illegal aliens to obtain loans to purchase land using Individual Tax ID Numbers (ITINs) instead of Social Security Numbers” and that Colony Ridge “has grown to an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 inhabitants and spans over 60 square miles.”
Titled “Resolution Calling for Action in Colony Ridge,” it also calls for Attorney General Ken Paxton to “initiate a full investigation into the development activities of Colony Ridge Land, LLC, and its possible connections to elected officials in the region.”
Matt Rinaldi, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, told The Daily Wire that Colony Ridge should be a “grave concern for all Texans,” but isn’t getting the attention it merits from elected officials in his own party.
“Governor Abbott needs to address this issue immediately in a special session since House Speaker Dade Phelan has refused to pass meaningful border security laws,” Rinaldi said. “We thank Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who recently said his office would be investigating Colony Ridge, and Congressman Brian Babin for his efforts to bring more attention to this issue.”
The resolution comes as several Republican leaders have expressed their concern about Colony Ridge. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asserted that it is “completely insane that they can set up these villages with illegal immigrants” while also noting that his office is looking into potential “deceptive trade practices.”
“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,” 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.”
Patrick, the second highest-ranking elected official in Texas, called for Colony Ridge to be addressed in a special legislative session just days after The Daily Wire’s report. “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.
The resolution has been praised by advocates for increased border security.
“We were pleased to see the Republican Party of Texas echo exactly what we have been calling for–legislative action to ensure that similar settlements can never be replicated in Texas and a full-scale investigation into Colony Ridge and their business dealings,” Texans for Strong Borders told The Daily Wire.
The organization also noted that Colony Ridge is now “international news” and that America’s “largest illegal alien settlement” can no longer “hide in obscurity.”
The resolution charged that Colony Ridge has “resulted in an unmanageable amount of growth” in the neighboring school district, also referencing The Daily Wire investigation, which reported that the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels are believed to be active in the development.
But the resolution did not just call for an investigation into Colony Ridge, but also into the development company’s “possible connections to elected officials in the region.”
Though none of the elected officials were named, there are several with financial links to Colony Ridge and its developer, William “Trey” Harris. Gov. Abbott, for example, has received a combined $1.5 million from Harris and his wife for his political campaigns.
U.S. Congressman Morgan Luttrell (R-TX), who represents a district neighboring Colony Ridge, has also taken thousands of dollars from Harris. State Representative Ernest Bailes received $1,800 from Harris, as well as large contributions from entities linked to the development. Bailes also received money from the political action committees associated with the energy company that services Colony Ridge and a law firm that Harris has given over $100,000 for lobbying efforts. The cousin of Bailes, who also donated to the state representative, owns a clearing and earthwork company employed by Colony Ridge.
Meanwhile, the resolution also expressed gratitude to Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX), who represents Liberty County, “for his role in drawing attention to this crisis.” Babin has not received any money from Harris.
Colony Ridge has also attracted the attention of Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who blamed “weak, spineless leaders” for “permitting and facilitating sprawling developments to house thousands of illegal immigrants who have broken our nation’s laws.”
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.
Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the resolution.