MINEOLA – Representative Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) today issued the following statement on his recent tour along the border and meetings with Federal, State, and County leaders regarding border security:
“On Saturday I joined DPS Director Steve McCraw and a group of my House colleagues and friends from County and National governments on the Rio Grande River. We met with leaders from the Texas DPS, US Border Patrol, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra, Pharr Police Chief Ruben Villescas, Hidalgo County Constable Larry Gallardo, and many officers from various agencies.
“We learned a lot. The drug cartels are responsible for bringing these record numbers of children to the border, with the goal of overwhelming the system and making it easier for the cartels to do their evil and heartless acts. These drug lords take money from folks in Mexico, promising safe passage into the US. Then, if they make it across, these same criminals in many cases hold their clients hostage and extort money from their relatives in the US. This is in addition to home invasions and other violence they perpetuate.
“So the surge is a big part of the solution. With the extra $1.3M per week that the Texas has just approved, DPS and each of the agencies we met with can put more officers and more resources into this fight. They can aggressively go after the drug cartels right on the border, starting on the Rio Grande River. By concentrating more force there, we can decrease the number of illegal border crossings and increase the cartels’ cost of doing business.
“So we can make the border safer for the folks living there, decrease the number of illegal border crossings, and stop the pipeline of helpless children being used as human shields by these heartless drug lords.
“In addition, we observed some of the equipment that’s being used very effectively. Most importantly, we got to visit with officers of these various agencies who are serving us in very difficult conditions.
“There is still work to do. The federal government must do its constitutional duty and provide real border security. But in the meantime, Texas is not sitting idly by and waiting. With this surge we are taking immediate action toward securing the border."