June 12, 2008
Congressman Ted Poe TX-02
This week, the US Congress voted to send $1.4 billion in tax payer money to Mexico and Central America to rout out the drug cartels and end the violence in their countries. This well intentioned plan, known as the Merida Initiative, is good in theory we help defeat the warring drug cartels along Mexicos northern border and we in turn see a relief in the violence spilling over along our southern border. However, we are only funding one side of this war. Not one red cent will be spent in our country to protect the American side of the border.
Its all fine and good to think that with our financial help Mexico can defeat the cartels and we will all live happily ever after. But, the reality is that they are not going down without a fight and we are sending billions of dollars in military and law enforcement equipment south of the border with no guarantee of how it will be used or worse, how it will be used against us. Where do we think the cartels along the border are going to go? Guatemala? I dont think so, they are coming here. And, without funding our side of the border in this fight our local law enforcement is left defenseless again.
Late last year, President Felipe Calderon went on Mexican radio to once again criticize our immigration policies and arrogantly demand that no conditions be put on this billion dollar donation and if there were he wouldnt accept it. Who does he think he is? Are we just going to hand over a billion US dollars and not expect to have oversight in how it is spent? Apparently so.
President Calderons demands for a no-strings-attached handout were met with little opposition in Congress. I was only one of 106 Members to vote against this bill. In addition to Mexicos arrogant demands, the Mexican Interior Minister said they only have this problem in their country due to their close proximity to the worlds largest drug consumers. I guess that was supposed to be a thank you.
Maybe if the Mexican government wasnt one of the most corrupt in history they would have better handle on the drug cartels terrorizing their citizens and taking over their country. I have a problem with training their military and handing over helicopters and hightech law enforcement technology to a country with a poor track record. Many of the notorious drug cartel enforcers known as the Zetas defected from the Mexican military after being trained here in the United States at the school of the Americas in Georgia. Every branch of their government and military has been infiltrated by the cartels.
According to the DEA, there have been 250 suspected Mexican military incursions into the United States in the last ten years. Homeland Security repeatedly denied this until they were forced to admit it when video surfaced documenting the incursion. I went down to Neelys Crossing in Hudspeth County along the Texas border where Sheriff Arvin West detailed another encounter with Mexican military aiding the cartels.
Humvees mounted with machine guns, flanked by armed Mexican soldiers, were 200 yards into the United States securing the area for the smugglers. Our guys dont have mounted machine guns. Fortunately for us, the standoff ended without gunfire. But this type of incident is not uncommon along our borders, yet we continue to refuse to protect our border against invasion.
Our border sheriffs and law enforcement are outmanned and outgunned. I have traveled from one end of the Texas border to the other and every single county, city and township needs help fighting crime on the border. It is irresponsible to leave them defenseless. If Mexico wages war on the cartels along the border, the violence that is already wreaking havoc in our country is going to explode. You dont bring a knife to a gun fight and expect to win.
If it were up to me, I would have told President Calderon and his demands adios and sent it to our own border. There is a war going on along our southern border, not just in Mexico, but in the United States. Once again, the US government is on the wrong side of the border war.
And thats just the way it is.