Yesterday and today, I went down to our southern border in Texas with my colleagues to observe the situation at the border and speak with border patrol agents about their day-to-day work. The agents told me point blank- there is a humanitarian crisis at our southern border.
In McAllen, TX, agents briefed us on the drug trade coming in from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which currently has a level 4 travel advisory (do not travel) from the U.S. State Department, the same level as Iraq and Afghanistan. Five cartels are currently fighting for control of the Rio Grande Valley, and our border agents receive little help from Mexico to make the area safer.
In Laredo, TX, we visited the Rio Grande, which, at some points, 100 yards of knee-deep water is all that separates Mexico from the United states. The agents told us that if all of the technology and manpower under their control were performing at 100 percent capacity, then that would still only amount to 30 percent of the border being covered. This shows that there is, in addition to outdated technology, a serious lack of equipment for our agents. Simply put, our border patrol agents are smart, hard-working compassionate people who are currently trying to make the best of a bad situation.
I am thankful that Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX) gave us a tour of the southern border of his state. I will take what I learned here back to Washington, D.C. to aid in the fight to build the wall, give our border patrol agents the resources they need and secure our border. We desperately need all of these things quickly in order to protect not only American citizens, but the Mexican, Central American and South American citizens who are being used and abused by the cartels.