Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saving our border beef

As we examine what can be done, we must reluctantly acknowledge a change in what’s happening at our southern border. It has become far more dangerous than at any time since pioneer days. If you’re from Texas you know the border has always been a challenge with illegal immigration and smuggling, which has ebbed and flowed in severity over the decades. Like all criminal activity, vigorous law enforcement efforts have controlled the problems but will never totally eradicate it. But where just a few short years ago we dealt primarily with non-violent folks crossing illegally to look for work, we now deal with the most vicious drug gangs in the world, who have killed over 60,000 people on the Mexican side of the river. And the killings are now spilling over onto our side. I personally have friends who have sold their border property after it became just too dangerous to work anymore. Many have to carry arms suitable for a war zone on their own land. The drug cartels are becoming more aggressive every year, with many no longer fearing being spotted. And it’s not just ranches adjoining the river, the cartels are impacting farms and ranches 60 miles and more inside our country, as the drug caravans make their way past Border Patrol check-points. This is not tolerable for free Americans in their own country in their own homes and on their own land. Defending the borders of the United States is the duty of the federal government, and in spite of our fine Border Patrol officers doing their jobs, we have not provided adequate resources to protect our citizens. Last year I introduced two specific bills to beef up – no pun intended – border security without undermining our border economy. The Border States Security Improvement Act, H.R. 2025, would allow our border Governors to call out the National Guard, highway patrol, Texas Rangers, state Defense Force and whoever else necessary to secure our border at federal expense for up to 180 days at a time, with the ability to renew the deployment an additional 90 days if needed. The Southern Border Sheriff’s Community Impact Aid Act, HR 2217, would provide federal funding for border county sheriffs to increase their in-the-field deputy manpower by 30 percent to provide the additional boots needed to keep the cartels off-balance full-time...more

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