A Firsthand Look at the Texas Border
Ask any Texan and they’ll tell you there is nowhere else
like the Texas border. This week, I joined with Texas Reps. Mike Conaway and John Carter to show some of our North Carolina and Nevada counterparts
how what happens here along the border impacts the rest of the country. As Congress and the Administration work to find the best way to finally secure
our southern border and enforce the law, understanding how this region generates millions of jobs for our communities and billions of dollars for our
economy will be key.
Click here to watch the video.
Monday, February 20: Rio Grande Valley Sector
On our first day, I took my Senate colleagues Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Dean
Heller of Nevada and Reps. John Carter (TX-31), Mike Conaway (TX-11), and David Rouzer (NC-07) through the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley
Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border. The group saw parts of the border where the county partnered with the federal government to build a dual purpose
levee wall to provide flood control in addition to border security. We toured the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge and discussed the importance of
cross-border trade. In the McAllen area we visited the Border Patrol Station and the Central Processing Center, as well as a stash house used by human
traffickers who hold children and women for ransom in deplorable conditions. No one should ever be subjected to such inhumane treatment. We
concluded the day with a visit to the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint and a tour of the surrounding ranch land used by those attempting to
circumvent the checkpoint. At each of the stops, we learned about law enforcement’s multi-layered approach to securing the
Sens. Cornyn and Tillis speak with a U.S.
Border Patrol Agent on a boat on the Rio Grande River
Tuesday, February 21: Laredo Sector
At this portion of our trip we saw the Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector from every
angle, including from a helicopter, onboard an airboat, and on horseback. We visited the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge in Laredo, an essential
port of entry for U.S.-Mexico trade. And we met with federal and immigration court judges to hear their perspectives as well as with local leaders who
help drive the economic success of the border region.
Sen. Cornyn tours the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge with U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello in
22: Del Rio Sector
We wrapped up our trip in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector. After an air
tour of the unique and rugged terrain in this region, we honored Border Patrol agents’ work at an awards ceremony with the Del Rio Border
Patrol. We were also briefed by a federal judge and law enforcement on Operation Streamline, a collaboration at the federal, state, and local levels
that effectively deters illegal entries through increased apprehensions, detention, and prosecutions of border crossers.
Sen. Cornyn speaks to agents in the Del Rio Border
I’m glad that not
only these Members of Congress, but others I’ve brought to the border on previous trips will now have the benefit of a Texas perspective on
border security. I’m optimistic that my colleagues are up to the challenge of helping to craft a way to once and for all secure our border while
protecting the legitimate trade and travel that Texas so greatly depends on.