Canseco Statement on Potential Draw Down of U.S. Personnel Along Southern Border

Dec 14, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14th, 2011

Contact:  Valentina Weis
(202) 225-4511 or Valentina.Weis@mail.house.gov

Canseco Statement on Potential Draw Down of U.S. Personnel Along Southern Border

Washington D.C. – Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco (TX-23), who represents almost 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, issued the following statement in response to reports that the Obama Administration plans to reduce the number of personnel deployed along our nation’s southern border:

“Reports have surfaced this week that the Obama Administration plans to reduce the number of National Guard troops patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border by at least half. I am concerned that such a reduction in the number of U.S. personnel tasked with securing our southern border will increase the risk of spillover violence from Mexico and harm our border communities. If the Obama Administration wishes to remove the vital support and security provided by our National Guard troops, the administration should have in place an alternative solution to maintain/increase resources and personnel afforded to the border region.

As I visit with constituents of the 23rd district, many of whom are living in border communities, they tell me the threat of spill-over violence has become a part of daily life. Shamefully, this is the same area that the Obama Administration and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano have categorized as “safe”, “secure” and “open for business.” I have seen firsthand the ruthless tactics the cartels use along the border, exerting power through unimaginable violence and disregard for the rule of law. Yet the Obama Administration wants to remove security personnel from the region, leaving Americans who live along the border in a heightened state of fear.

A November 21st incident in Houston is evidence that despite the federal government’s denial of its existence, violence is spilling over from Mexico. Mexican drug cartel violence is a serious threat to the U.S., our citizens and law enforcement. On November 21st, four suspects in three SUV’s attacked a tanker truck traveling in northwest Harris County. The truck was being driven by an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency and was under surveillance by federal and local law enforcement. The four suspects, which are believed to be members of the “Zetas” drug cartel opened fire on the tanker, killing the federal informant and wounding a Harris County Sherriff’s Deputy. While motivation for the attack is not yet known, the truck was carrying only 300 pounds of marijuana. This reckless and egregious act of violence against U.S. law enforcement, in Texas’ largest city, is further proof that the Obama Administration is not taking seriously the threat posed by spillover violence.

This should demonstrate that we need more resources along our southern border—not less. Removing vital resources and personnel from the border region is tantamount to abandoning our southwest border region to the Mexican drug cartels and telling Americans living along the border ‘you are on your own.’ Whether they be the National Guard troops, Border Patrol agents, or Border Sheriffs, we need to increase the resources and manpower along our border in order to keep our communities safe, protect American lives, and restore prosperity to our border communities. Simply removing National Guard troops from the border, with no readily available alternative, will drastically decrease security along the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving American citizens in harm’s way.”

Click here to see the below article on the deadly incident in Houston.

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