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Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Monday that the state legislature will use a special session next month to address Colony Ridge, the massive housing development north of Houston that’s become a hub for illegal immigrants and a potential strategic center for drug cartels.
“Serious concerns have been raised about what’s going on in this Colony Ridge area,” Abbott told Dana Loesch after the radio host asked about The Daily Wire’s investigation into the development. “We’re trying to put together as much information as possible so that I can add this to the special session.”
Abbott told Loesch that he has already issued subpoenas to the developers “to find out what’s going on financially,” and asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to launch a new investigation.
“We’re getting all the baseline information so we can find out exactly what we can do and what we must do. Part of it can be using current law enforcement, but part of it may require new laws,” the governor added. “Whatever it takes.”
Abbott’s comments are his harshest to date on the development, which has become a magnet for illegal immigrants flooding the United States due to financing arrangements catered for non-citizens. The development, which is estimated to be roughly 60 square miles and contains tens of thousands of people, has also become a hotbed for crime, and officials believe the Mexican cartels could use it as a foothold in the United States.
Colony Ridge has attracted the ire of Republican officials in the state. Both Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton have suggested that the legislature is needed to address the problems stemming from Colony Ridge, and said Abbott should add it to the agenda for the special session.
“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.”
The Republican Party of Texas voted 61-0 to pass a resolution calling for Gov. Abbott to convene a special legislative session to address Colony Ridge. The resolution cited The Daily Wire’s investigation into Colony Ridge and called on 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.”
Abbott’s response to Colony Ridge has come under scrutiny due to political donations he has received from the development’s owner, William “Trey” Harris, who donated $1.4 million to Governor Abbott’s campaign. Abbott is still yet to address his relationship with Harris.
His office says the state had taken steps to address Colony Ridge before The Daily Wire’s investigation. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality previously launched nine investigations into Colony Ridge, with eight of the nine finding violations which included operating without a permit, large bare areas of unstabilized soil, and several instances where erosion control measures were not installed.
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.
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.”