FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07/11/2014
Thompson Patrols U.S. - Mexico Border with DPS
Urges the Federal Government to Take Action to Safely Secure Our Border
AUSTIN: State Representative Ed Thompson traveled with The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Texas-Mexico border on Wednesday to meet with DPS leadership and witness first-hand the border security crisis our nation is currently facing. Early Wednesday morning, Rep. Thompson traveled from Austin to Edinburg with Representatives Drew Springer, Kenneth Sheets, Tan Parker, and Ron Simmons.
During a briefing on Operation Strong Safety II by Region 3 Commander Jose Rodriguez, Assistant Director for Intelligence and Counter Terrorism John Jones, and Region 3 Emergency Management Coordinator Tony Peña, the legislators were told of countless apprehensions and shown photos of freight trains loaded with people who are brazenly crossing into the United States during broad daylight.
"The number of arrests and apprehensions DPS has made since the surge began is simply staggering," said Rep. Thompson following the briefing. “I’m grateful for the men and women who are working hard to protect the people of Texas.”
In addition to patrolling the border by helicopter, the group of legislators accompanied DPS on a boat patrol to assess illegal activity on the Rio Grande River. The group observed officers on the ground apprehending 4 adults and their children, in addition to 2 minors frantically swimming to the Mexican side of the river to avoid being detained.
“Drug trafficking by the cartels and gangs is still rampant,” Thompson continued. “These cartels are using the illegal immigrants to transport drugs into our country. There is no question that the cartels are promoting and benefitting from this influx of people: it means more money for them, and the ability to move more drugs with less scrutiny.”
Despite this alarming situation, DPS is faced with several federal roadblocks in their attempts to safeguard the border. FAA regulations prevent them from using drones to fully survey the river, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife prevents clearing the land at places where people are using the thick brush to hide from law enforcement.
"This is a Texas issue,” Thompson added. “We all have skin in the game. Our public education system and our health and human services will be overwhelmed if these people continue to illegally gain entry. Our tax dollars will go towards filling an insatiable hole that I fear we will spend a long time recovering from."
Thompson stated that illegal immigration has become a homeland security issue, a health issue, an education issue, a transportation issue, and a financial issue. He urges Texans to contact President Obama, their U.S. Senators, and their U.S. Congressman, adding that inaction is no longer tolerable from our federal elected officials.
“We are in a tough situation,” Thompson said. The federal government needs to step up to the plate and secure our border."
Representative Ed Thompson serves the 29th District in the Texas House of Representatives representing Pearland, Manvel, Alvin, Brookside Village, Iowa Colony, Hillcrest, Rosharon, and Liverpool.