The battle at the border continues, this time from Hidalgo County, Texas. I recently returned from the Texas/Mexico border where I met with Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino. This was my fifth trip to the border in the last year and each time is more startling than the last. It remains shocking to me that the security of the United States and the violence occurring in our own backyard is not on the national radar.

I went down to Donna, Texas, to the site of a brazen attack on U.S. law enforcement from across the Rio Grande. You may not have heard much about this in the media, they were busy covering violence on the other side of the world. Sheriff Trevino took me to the location where his deputies and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents took on more than 300 rounds of gunfire from about 100 yards away in Mexico. Hidalgo County Sheriffs Department responded to a call for assistance by an American citizen reporting that her two sons fled their ranch in Mexico after being ambushed by heavily armed men. During the attack at the Mexican ranch, their father was kidnapped and a ranch hand was murdered. Shortly after deputies arrived, gunfire erupted and deputies were forced to take immediate cover from the hail of bullets.

It was originally reported that the gunmen were part of a drug cartel taking over the ranch, but is now believed that they were the strong arm of the law, known as Madrinas. Sheriff Trevino explained that Madrinas are often bribed to provide protection rather than working to bring outlaws to justice. This is yet another example of the violence and corruption in Mexico that extends across the border into our country.

Sheriff Trevino said the number one threat to his county is the criminal alien that is coming to the United States with the sole intent to commit crimes. This week, I attended Homeland Security field hearings in Houston on that same subject. Members of Congress were shown a video of a gun battle between warring drug cartels in Nuevo Laredo. It was pointed out by one of my colleagues that this was not in our country and this type of violence takes place south of the border. Unfortunately, this is not true. These drug lords are not fighting to gain control of Nuevo Laredo to limit there activity there, this is a battle to take over the most lucrative point of entry into the United States. This incident, and every other one just like it, has a direct effect on the United States. You see, these people are not fighting to come to America for a better life; they are fighting for the right to destroy ours.

To give a first hand account of the violence committed by illegal criminals in our country, State Trooper Steve Stone and the parents of Felicia Ruiz testified as to how their lives were devastated by our open border policy. State Trooper Steve Stone of Tyler, Texas, was shot six times after a routine traffic stop of an illegal who had been twice deported. The parents of Felicia Ruiz of Pasadena, Texas, told the heartbreaking story of how their only daughter was brutally beaten, stabbed, and left for dead by a teenage illegal who has since fled to his native country of Venezuela.

It is the primary responsibility of the federal government to protect its citizens, but the United States is failing to do so by continuing to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. The violence on the border doesnt end in the border towns of Texas, Arizona and California; it stretches across our country. While the media and the rest of the country focus their attention on wars a world away, the United States is losing the war along our borders. We can not wait until our country is hit with another devastating attack to take action. If we can protect the borders of foreign nations, the American people certainly deserve that same service here at home. Thats just the way it is.