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Mr. Speaker, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Colombia, Afghanistan, and Iraq have something in common. These are six nations, among several others, where the State Department recommends that Americans don't travel.
But today there was another advisory issued, but this one was not by the State Department but by the State of Texas through the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to read just a portion of this into the Record. Here is what it says. Texas Department of Public Safety dated today: "Due to the increased rising level of violence in Mexico--which is attributed to drug cartels, violent criminal organizations, and increased presence of military personnel in some Mexican border communities--it is recommended that persons be discouraged from traveling to Mexican border towns, particularly those that have recently been scenes of gang-related violent activity. These communities include Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Reynosa, Rio Bravo, Miguel Aleman, and Ciudad Juarez."
Mr. Speaker, you see, the Texas Department of Public Safety has issued an advisory for Americans: don't go to these border towns because of the violence. And the reason the violence has increased specifically has to do with what happened in Rio Bravo which is across the Rio Grande River from Texas. The Rio Bravo mayor last month was gunned down while leaving a restaurant, along with two other politicians. The Mexican Government sent in troops to help quell the violence. But 5 days ago, local police in several Mexican border towns, specifically Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Reynosa, were relieved of their duties by the federal Government because of their alleged links to drug cartels, specifically the gulf drug cartel.
What that means, Mr. Speaker, now on the Mexican border, bordering Texas, there are 6,000 Mexican troops stationed there. They are stationed from Matamoros to Miguel Aleman. Now, Matamoros is the border town across from Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville is on the furthest eastern tip of Texas. Brownsville is a big community, and across the river is Matamoros. And Miguel Aleman is 100 miles upriver across the river from Roma, Texas. There is violence in these border towns.
Many people don't understand what a border town is. A border town is a town on the American border and has another town very similar to it on the Mexican border. And both of these towns, being border towns, border each other separated only by the border between Mexico and the United States.
The State Department has already issued a travel alert for Mexico because of the violence that occurs there. But now the State of Texas finds a need to warn all citizens, especially law enforcement officials, of the problems.
Mr. Speaker, the open-border crowd denies this violence occurs on our southern front. I have been down to the Texas-Mexico border now 13 times, and I have talked to the local people wholive there, and I have also talked to the chamber of commerce types who say, Oh, there is no problem here in our border towns. There is no violence or drugs. We don't have a problem with infiltration from drug cartels and criminals coming into our cities. Of course they say those things, in my opinion, because they want that open border for that travel back and forth between Mexico and the United States because of money, because of commerce, because of that greed that so many people have; and they deny the fact that the border needs to be secure.