As a result of a recent fact finding mission to the United States-Mexico Border, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) extended a personal invitation to President George W. Bush to meet with the Texas Border Sheriffs Association to hear their views on border security and immigration. The recent visit to the Del Rio area was the Congressmans second trip to the U.S.-Mexico Border in the past six months. Congressman Poe met with local Sheriff Tomas Herrera of Maverick County, L.K. Burgess of Kinney County, Douglas Sample of Dimmit County, and Deputy Sheriff Terry Simons of Val Verde County.

It is clear. The single most important issue currently facing this Congress is illegal immigration, Poe said.

Last fall, Poe traveled to Zapata and Webb Counties to asses the situation on the border there. This trip, Poe traveled to the more rural areas of the Texas border. Unfortunately the situation is not much better, Poe said. Ranches the size of some small states are patrolled by local Sheriffs offices with few resources. These men are brave patriots but they are out manned, out funded, and out gunned.

Congressman Poe also met with local ranch owners in border towns to discuss their concerns. There is a different breed of illegal immigrant now since the late 60s. Previously they would come and respect the land and offer to work on the ranches. Now, in addition to abusing our laws, illegals abuse land and the property on their way through. They break into homes, rob people, and destroy property. The lawlessness is disgusting, Poe said.

Border Sheriffs expressed their concerns over what they call narco-terrorists that dont give a second thought to firing at U.S. law enforcement. Where they were once faced with drug runners who may put up a fight, they are now faced with narco-terrorists with grenade launchers and automatic weapons that refuse to lose a shipment.

The violence at the border is at its breaking point and our enemies around the world know it. As a country, we can not afford to be a victim of hindsight to another terrorist attack, said Poe. The Border Sheriffs are asking for our federal governments help, they dont want to see the next devastating attack on our country come through their counties.

We must enforce the borders of this country now, Poe said. This is a matter of homeland security and not something that we can put off any longer. I urge every Congressman and Senator to visit the border and see the lawlessness first hand before they try and pass a toothless bill that does nothing to ensure the integrity of our borders.

###