WASHINGTON D.C.- Two Upper Valley law enforcement leaders traveled to Washington D.C. to speak at a House Subcommittee regarding the border violence that's happening just steps from where we live. McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez along with Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez were speaking before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee Wednesday morning, talking about their law enforcement efforts on the border and the help they need.
"The bottom line is it's not secure until it is we're not going to be happy," said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.
"It's getting more violent the smugglers are getting more brazen," said Gonzalez.
"They came to the United States into our communities they come to our communities because they feel safe here," said Rodriguez.
Words expressed by these law enforcement leaders of Upper Valley border towns that experience the criminal activities of the drug smugglers almost everyday. Their efforts to combat can only do so much and they spoke about the resources needed to combat the criminal contraband trade.
"We're concern that the increasing threat that the border is not secure more than ever was there has been some success we love to see all of the federal resources," said McCraw.
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said that his office has stopped many cartel activities that are occurring in his jurisdiction and that the border isn't secure. that's opposite the statement that Janet Napolitano made, saying the border is safer than ever. The sheriff brought infrared video showing the cartels operating just inches away from border communities along the Rio Grande in plain sight, like in the town of San Ygnacio smugglers transporting their narcotics right under the international bridge there.
"To stop these individuals we have been shot at we have also seized in our jurisdiction weapons ammunition going to Mexico. Yes I admit they were going to Mexico," said Gonzalez. "However information we've received from them is part of that ammunition would remain in the United States so whenever the cartels will come in to the United States to continue their operations they'll be ready on the US side of the border and have weapons and ammunition to defend themselves."
McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez spoke before the committee as well, he touched on various issues regarding cartel violence.
"I suggest that the violence in Mexico and the threat it poses to Mexico and to our communities, requires a September 11th type of response from our country," said Rodriguez.
At the hearing, leaders also talked about more regulation against the export of guns that are fueling the fire in Mexico.