Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

THIRD FRONT

Mar 25 2010

I bring you news from the third front. The first front is in Iraq. The second front is in Afghanistan. And the third front, which we don't talk much about, is the front of the border; the border wars in south Texas on the border between Texas and Mexico.

We have heard a lot about the fact that there is violence on the border, especially the southern border. On the border where Mexico meets the United States, on the Mexican side, the drug cartels are fighting for turf. They are violent. They are vicious, and murder is a way of life against those good Mexican nationals that live just south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Recently, the Zetas cartel and the Gulf cartel have engaged in violent acts in the town of Guerrero, Mexico. That is over here in the south Texas area on the other side of the Rio Grande River where Falcon Lake is the border between Mexico and Texas. People in that town have taken cover. In fact, the police department of Guerrero, Mexico, has told people of that town of 6,000, "do not come out of your homes because the drug cartels will take your life." They are fighting to take that turf, that entry into the United States, to bring that cancer and to sell it.

But there are those that say that the border war on the southern side of the U.S. border doesn't affect us. Well, of course, those people are wrong. Let's take one example. There are 14 counties on the border of Texas and Mexico. So, yesterday, I called the sheriffs of these counties and I asked them this question: How many people do you have in your county jail who are foreign nationals who have been arrested for a crime in the United States? Most of those sheriffs were quick to tell us. Some of them did not tell me. But, overall, of the 14 counties that border Mexico from Texas, 37 percent of the people in those county jails are foreign nationals charged with crimes in the United States.

Yes, the violence on the border and the failure of the United States government to secure our southern border affects people who live in those border communities. These are not wealthy counties. These are poor counties where people have day jobs on both sides of the border. These counties are so poor, and I'll give you an example.

Over here in Hudspeth County where 63 percent of the people are foreign nationals in Arvin West's jail, the county commissioners don't even have enough money to give Arvin West, Sheriff West and his deputy sheriffs a motor pool. They have no vehicles. So what do they do to obtain vehicles in the sheriff's department? They have to confiscate drug vehicles that have been captured and turned over to the United States and then turned over to the county. So the sheriff of this county only drives vehicles that he's confiscated from the drug cartels. You see, the sheriffs along the border say that they are outfinanced by the drug cartels, they're outmanned, and they are outgunned by these drug cartels.

The crime that occurs in the United States by foreign nationals crossing our porous border affects counties along the border but also affects counties throughout the United States. I think we would be shocked to find out how many foreign nationals are in county jails throughout the country charged with crimes that they have committed here, both legal and illegals who have come across our border.

Once again, 37 percent of the people in the county jails on the Texas-Mexico border on the Texas side are foreign nationals. It goes all the way from 1 percent--and I don't think that is correct--over in Webb County all the way up to 100 percent in Terrell County. In Terrell County, the sheriff said, Everybody in my county jail is a foreign national charged with a crime in my county.

It is the duty of the federal government to secure America's borders. This is the third front, yet we are blissfully ignorant up here in Washington, D.C., about wh