Senator Rodriguez Defends El Paso and 'the Trade' during Senate Committee Hearing

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On Monday, April 7,2014 Heidi Thiess headed to Austin for the a Senate Committee hearing on homeland security and border issues. Ms. Thiess has been to the border recently and worked in conjunction with the Texas Border Volunteers to see firsthand the level of incursions and mayhem occurring on our border. She was well-prepared with reports, facts and figures and highlights the growing "invasion" by OTM's (other than Mexicans) as well as miltaristic uniformed foreign nationals encroaching on US sovereignty. Judicial Watch has a full report on this growing phenomena:    (http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/04/mexican-military-holds-border-patrol-at-gunpoint-inside-u-s/).

In the video,of her testimony, however, you will see that Senator Rodriguez takes umbrage of her use of the terms "war zone" and "invasion" as he defends El Paso as one of the safest cities around. He openly chides Ms. Thiess for daring to use such terms in that it harms the image of both El Paso and the trade "image" of the border region.  Certainly, El Paso, with the exception of a few high profile reprisal killings by cartels and the odd bullet or two hitting public buildings can claim a remarkably low crime rate as seen on a google search for "safest cities". So why is this?

 

Defending Trade:

- Increased cooperation between Law Enforcement agencies (a trebling of manpower over the past decade)

- Home to well-run fusion center with 21 different federal, state and local agencies

-Participation in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) established by congress in 1988

-Well funded  (West Texas HIDTA) receives an average of 8 million dollars annually

- El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) gives intelligence briefings every morning to all law enforcement officials

_El Paso has a fence as well as state of the art detection technology and manpower to promptly respond to border incursions

(Dec. 2010 http://www.securitymanagement.com/news/living-next-a-war-zone-how-el-paso-stays-one-americas-safest-cities-007941)

 

You get the idea. The result of resources and political will placed in the El Paso sector reveals an impressive decrease in border crossings. In 2006, the CBP apprehended 122,260 illegal aliens that reduced to 11,206 after some four years. If only this effort in interagency cooperation, prompt response and enforcement resources were available to all Texans on the border. Obviously, this is not the case for those in close proximity to the border in Brooks County, and in the rural areas where defending individual Texas landowners is not a priority as illustrated in Heidi's testimony.

The Department of Public Safety Report-2013  highlights the growing violent spillover and tactics by cartels, gangs and potential terrorists that are manifest in all major Texas cities: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/media_and_communications/threatoverview.pdf

 

Senator Rodriguez sheds light on the fact that he is loyal to "trade" interests over national security and sovereignty for Texans. He wants real facts and figures on the cartel criminals and OTM's apart from those who are "just here to work",(BTW he was given this data). Perhaps some of us aren't sold on the notion of a "just here to work" national security plan...somehow that did not work out for the victims of 9-11 and the Boston Bombings.

Send Senator Rodriguez a Mexican flag to place before him as he serves on the Senate Committee for Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security during the rest of this upcoming session. Senator Rodriguez just explained to us that due to protecting and defending the "image" of border trade require the rest of us to shut up and stay quiet. Never say words like "war zone" and 'invasion" to interfere with the goals of cross border trade. Feel better? I don't hold out much hope on this issue in the Texas lege as we have seen over the years..........sigh.

 

Long May We Wave,

Liz Theiss