Friday, October 14, 2011

An Undeniable Need for More Border Security

Today, I testified before Congress on behalf of all Texans on the critical need for enhanced federal security along the U.S./Mexico border. On any given day, Texas farmers, ranchers and rural residents deal with intimidation, trespassing, theft, property damage, and sometimes even deadly assaults by criminals who have ties to the dangerous cartels.

Simply put, bullet holes don’t lie and dead bodies tell the powerful truth. Here are just some of the staggering statistics DPS has provided in regards to cartel-related crimes taking place on Texas soil:

Border-Related Shootings at U.S. Law Enforcement in Texas
64 – since 2009

Homicides in Texas Connected to Mexican Cartels or Texas-Based Gangs Connected To Cartels
27 – since 2009

120 – since 2004
(One victim was kidnapped from his home in Horizon City, Texas in 2009 and was taken to Mexico where they cut his hands off and mutilated his body in retaliation for the loss of a marijuana load.)

Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling
369 children trafficked to Texas from Jan. 2007 – Jan. 2011
480 victims reported in Texas – 220 were Americans – since 2007

Drug Seizures
6.9 million pounds of marijuana; 73,428 pounds of cocaine; 1,737 pounds of heroin; and 5,987 pounds of methamphetamine – since 2006

And here are only some of the acts of violence these transnational criminal organizations have committed just in the past few months:
· On Feb. 18 – Two energy company employees were assaulted and robbed in rural Webb County
· On March 11 – A ranch foreman was injured from shots fired by suspected drug cartel members in rural Webb County
· On June 9 – Texas DPS and Game Wardens were shot at by drug traffickers in rural Hidalgo County
· On June 19 – U.S. Border Patrol were shot at by drug traffickers in an area that has seen repeated shootings aimed at U.S. law enforcement in Hidalgo County
· On July 14 – Shots were fired at water district workers in rural Hidalgo County
· On Sept. 27 – Shots were fired, killing at least one individual, on Hidalgo County highway

These crimes, in addition to the countless testimonies we at the Texas Department of Agriculture continue to document on, show an undeniable need for increased federal protection.

I am not willing to cede one inch of Texas soil to these terrorists. Texans demand action! I appreciate Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Austin, TX) for his leadership in convening this hearing.

To see video of my testimony click here. To read my full written submitted testimony click here.

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