(AUSTIN, TEXAS) State Representatives Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) and John Raney (R-Bryan) attended a legislative tour and security briefing on Tuesday in the Rio Grande Valley to see first-hand the operations being conducted by the Department of Public Safety along the Texas-Mexico Border.
Led by DPS Director Steve McCraw and accompanied by five other House members, the trip included briefings on Border Operations, Air Patrol and River Patrol, as well as updates on Operation Strong Safety and the current crisis involving unaccompanied alien children.
“It is important to note DPS is on the border to apprehend criminals, not to enforce immigration law,” said Representative Raney. “The massive influx of unaccompanied minors entering our country is draining our resources, creating more opportunities for the criminal element. The federal government turning a blind eye is no longer an option; we are dealing with a full-blown humanitarian and national security crisis.”
Texas has stepped up to meet the responsibility of securing the border where the federal government has not. A fifty-five percent increase in border security funding was approved during the 84th Legislative Session, and earlier this week, Governor Perry directed the deployment of up to 1000 National Guard troops to assist DPS and Border Patrol agents.
“While our DPS and Border Patrol Agents work diligently to address the emergency, it is a tragedy that the federal government has allowed the border region to develop into this current crisis,” said Representative Kacal. “The Mexican drug cartels, which pose a serious threat to our security, are using the crisis to smuggle drugs and to engage in human trafficking across the border. The surge in DPS troopers and the mobilization of the National Guard are necessary actions to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and send a clear message for those who consider breaking the law as a means of entering our country.”