Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) was joined by all 20 Texas Republican Members of Congress in supporting Texas Governor Rick Perrys request to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano for federal assistance along the Texas Mexico Border. The entire Texas delegation met with Governor Perry in Washington, DC today to discuss this issue and other matters important to the State of Texas.
I just returned from the front lines along the Texas Mexico border, said Poe. It is no longer a matter of when the violence and crime will spill over into the United States it has already happened. In Hudspeth County, all but one of the 125 inmates in the county jail last weekend were here illegally and all being held on drug-related charges. Our local towns and communities along the border are baring the brunt of the drug war and the time to act is long overdue. It is the responsibility and the constitutional duty of the United States government to protect its citizens.
Governor Perry recently called on DHS to support a unified local, state and federal effort to secure the border in light of the overwhelming violence spreading across the region resulting from the warring drug cartels in Mexico. The letter reiterates congressional support to honor Governor Perrys request for DHS assistance in providing at the very least an extra 1,000 title 32 National Guard positions to be utilized in support of civilian law enforcement authorities and an additional aviation assets in the form of six OH-58 helicopters equipped with Forward Looking Infrared Radar for night operations.
We also share the Governor's belief that state and local law enforcement should be supported and given the resources needed to help leverage existing federal capabilities, the delegation letter states. We urge you to act swiftly on these urgent needs.
Congressman Poe has long called for federal involvement in securing our southern border and federal support of local and state law enforcement faced with the day-to-day crime committed in their towns and communities as a result of an unsecured border. Mexico has been a valued and long-time trade partner of the United States. The Mexican culture is interwoven into the history of the State of Texas and its people; making it more imperative than ever to address this problem for the future stability and safety of our state, Mexico, and the United States, the letter urged.
In 2007, nearly 6,000 people were murdered in Mexico with almost a third of that number occurring in Ciudad Juarez, across the Texas border from El Paso, and projections for 2009 are even more staggering. News reports show that on average one American a week is killed in Mexico. The U.S. Joint Forces Command said in a recent report that Mexico rivals Pakistan as the country most at risk of collapse and foreign policy experts have noted that Mexico has surpassed Colombia as the kidnapping capital of the world.
Congressman Poe regularly travels to the border to meet with local law enforcement. Poe has sponsored and cosponsored numerous bills pertaining to border security. For more on this legislation, floor speeches and other related items, please visit our website: http://poe.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=2295
Before serving Texas 2nd Congressional District, Congressman Poe was a prosecutor and criminal court judge in Houston, Texas, for 30 years. Poe is recognized nationally for his creative sentencing of criminals and his life-long dedication to victims, children and law enforcement.