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Texas officials hold ‘Field Hearing’: ‘we are at ground zero of the worst humanitarian public safety and security crisis’

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Texas towns along the southern border are losing their quality of life due to the immigration crisis, and now they are also unable to utilize federal funding for their benefit.

Susan Kibbe, executive director of South Texans’ Property Rights Association, testified before a committee on Friday explaining local emergency services are being diverted from local public safety needs to deal with “smuggling pursuits, bail outs and the lost, injured, dehydrated or dead immigrants.”

“The normal daily emergency needs don’t just put themselves on hold until illegal immigration slows down. They just become needs that are unmet,” she added. Residents of Kinney County, Texas, planned to fund a splash pad park for its residents. Instead, their government funds went to create emergency shelters for migrants who illegally cross into the U.S.

While the loss of a “splash pad” may not sound like much, it is a small indication of the larger problem. Funds also must be redirected to increase security to schools due to a high rise in criminal activity.

Officials of Kinney County, Texas, explained the tumultuous scenarios during testimony before the House Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth on Friday. Members of the committee traveled to South Texas to hold a “field hearing.”

Titled “infrastructure Investment: Building Economic Resilience in South Texas” National Review writes of the hearing:

While Democratic members of the committee took the trip to discuss infrastructure in South Texas, Republican members turned their focus to the impact of the border crisis on the region.

Representative Jodey Arrington, a Republican whose district covers parts of West Texas, blasted Democrats’ focus on infrastructure during the hearing.

“The infrastructure that matters most right now is the infrastructure that protects the American people and we are at ground zero of the worst humanitarian public safety and security crisis in the history of our country and we’re talking about roads and bridges,” Arrington said.

“I’d love to have this conversation but that would be like us going to Ukraine and having a hearing about fixing the potholes in the street while the Russians are waging war on the citizens. So, no. We have to talk about this border crisis.”

Smith said before the current border crisis began, Kinney County saw maybe two or three high speed police chases per year. Just last weekend, the county saw ten high speed chases, he said.

The danger has grown so high that the school campus is “now militarized with boulders that surround the campus to prevent cars from high speed car chases from actually entering campus and injuring children,” he said.

“That’s money that should be better spent preparing our children for the jobs of the future,” Ranking member Brian Steil (R., Wis.) told National Review in an interview.

Communities in the area are contending with massive flooding and little-to-no internet access. In the local colonias, there are people living without adequate access to sanitation and fresh water, committee chair Jim Himes said during the hearing.

Steil said that the committee should explore how the federal government can partner with local areas to meet the community’s need for flood infrastructure that will cost millions of dollars.

“But instead what’s so frustrating when I heard from folks here is that the federal government and local resources are being used to address a different crisis and that’s the porous border costing the state of Texas and cities across the Rio Grande Valley millions of dollars each year,” he said during the hearing.

“It’s impacting the ability of towns to afford longterm infrastructure projects and the inaction by the Biden administration is pushing Texans to pay for a federal issue,” he added.

In August, Texas state lawmakers approved nearly $2 billion in additional funding for border security operations, months after lawmakers had already approved $1.05 billion for border security in the spring.

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Immigration

Border Crisis by the numbers: in January agents seize 500lbs drugs and 70 criminals with outstanding warrants

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The first month of 2023 at the southern border is already looking bleak; just take a look at the numbers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso, Texas have seized over 500 pounds of hard drugs in January alone.

Additionally, the agency apprehended 62 people they were able to identify as having outstanding arrest warrants. Among the criminals were sex offenders.

The devastating numbers are not surprising, given that in December, the El Paso mayor declared a sate of emergency “after record numbers of people were released onto city streets and sidewalks by the Biden administration” reports The Center Square.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also “sent 400 National Guard troops to restore order and provide humanitarian assistance” adds the media outlet. Border Patrol data showed in December, 55,766 illegal foreign nationals were apprehended in the El Paso Sector.

There were also 32,632 known and recorded gotaways in December, meaning they were able to evade getting captured by law and immigration officials. law enforcement officers told The Center Square that despite the skyrocket high numbers, “these seizures and apprehensions represent a fraction of the amount of people and drugs being trafficked to the southern border between ports of entry.”

 

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