AUSTIN, August 9 - As the influx in alien border crossings continues to increase and receive statewide and national attention, it has become increasingly apparent that there is a perception that Texas has only recently suffered from limited personnel and resources on the border.
To those who have enjoyed a trip to the border in the recent weeks, I am appreciative of their interest, but curious where this level of concern was last year, 2 years ago, or 9 years ago when I first began taking routine trips to various border regions.
To understand how Texas, and the United States, got to the position we are in today, a single trip will not provide the depth and understanding necessary to comprehend the impact of federal policies on the security of the Texas-Mexico border.
The geo-political nature of Texas' relationship with Mexico, South America, and Central America is a deeply complex relationship even separate to the relationship had between the United States and Mexico. I caution anyone who looks to unreliable sources for their information and 'truths' as to what is actually occurring on the border. Bloggers are vindicated when their audience reacts with emotion so great it spurs the viral spread of their 'truths' to new audiences.
The threat on the border has been an ongoing concern for the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Texas Military Forces, for over a decade. Just because the media has had the opportunity to spin and glamorize the horrific, inhumane, violent events occurring on the border today, does not mean these challenges have not been present before. The failure by many to recognize this fundamental truth is my gravest concern. My concern rests with individuals who have a duty to represent and accurately inform their constituency of various situations via the vetted, precise information they have been provided by agency officials on the ground - not through personal validation of anecdotes received from irrelevant sources.
For years constituents of House District 2 have received my reports covering the latest developments on the Texas-Mexico border. For a number of years it has been my priority to raise awareness for the challenges we are facing on our southern borders. I routinely travel to various sectors of the border region to meet with local officials and regional directors from DPS in order to maintain a clear understanding of the growing challenges that we face; my commitment did not begin 2 months ago, nor was it influenced by eccentric claims made by this week's latest media report, blog post editorial, or YouTube video.
Our military and defense personnel selflessly offer themselves to ensure the protection of our state and country. When bureaucratic personnel and Washington administration refuse to acknowledge the ongoing issues, as well as the recent escalation of alien activity, it becomes all to clear what the basic facts are. It appears that the administration in Washington has elected to blatantly disregard their Constitutional obligation to not only secure our country's borders, but to assist their countrymen in times of duress.
Contrary to many mainstream media reports, the aliens attempting to cross into Texas illegally are not from Mexico alone. Nearly 80 percent are "OTM", or 'Other Than Mexican.' These OTM's are in fact from Central America, the Middle East, and various Asian countries with failed socialist governments and policies. I have no doubt many come to America with the intentions of providing a better life and opportunity for themselves and their families, but we cannot be blind to the realities that many do aim to harm the United States.
As the powerful Central American and Mexican drug cartels continue to meticulously execute their plans to flood our borders with unaccompanied minors and children in order to divert the efforts of border patrol units from security to bureaucratic paper pushing, Texas has expanded her efforts and funding in order to ensure fluid, constant support where it is needed most.
The men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Department of Parks and Wildlife, and the Texas Military Forces, along with U.S. Border Patrol units and local law enforcement, are overwhelmed, undermanned and under resourced, yet they fight daily in defense of our safety and freedom. This negligence by Federal authorities is not new, so why is it so well reported now?
After my most recent visit to the Texas - Mexico Border, my admiration for Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Adjutant General, John Nichols, DPS Director Steve McCraw and Colonel Craig Hunter of Parks and Wildlife Department, has only grown. The courage Governor Perry has displayed by stepping up and utilizing the incredible resources within the Texas Military Forces, TPWD, and DPS, while assuming responsibility for his State's well-being is a true example of leadership and integrity in a time of crisis. While working on the border region, I saw how responsive and dedicated our local law enforcement and officials were to supporting the cause and direction laid out by our leadership through 'Operation Strong Safety'. There is an unspoken understanding among those on the border, serving in various capacities, and that type of cohesion tells me that this cause is worth fighting for.
The reason appears to be a simple one; the current administration needs votes both in the mid-term elections, and in 2016 to form a permanent liberal majority. While the mediated message has been meticulously orchestrated to create sympathy and feelings of compassion for the unaccompanied children crossing the border, the heartless truth is that these children have been exploited by the administration for political gain. Coming to the border with promises for a new life, courtesy of federal campaign ads reportedly throughout Mexico and Central America advertising complete benefits for all that could make it across, these naïve and unsuspecting minors and children are merely a pawn in the political game of power. One could suspect that the Central American and Mexican drug cartels are working in conjunction with the administration to deceive not only the American people, but the aliens they are escorting, in order to ensure both parties orchestrating these efforts mutually benefit in the end. The current administration has offered alien children hope and promise in a country foreign to them, at the expense of hardworking Americans, many of whom are also struggling to support their families and children. These promises are offered in exchange for unwavering loyalty and support when it comes time to vote.
One could logically assume that this administration manufactured this crisis, contracting for buses and transportation, months ago. The families of these unaccompanied children want a better life for them, so who can blame these parents for risking their own lives, and their children's safety in exchange for opportunity in America? The leader of the free nation has promised assistance when they arrive, even if it is at the expense of millions of hardworking Americans also trying to provide a better life for their families.
When politicians manipulate the masses and tug at our proverbial heart strings with heartbreaking images of abandoned children thousands of miles away from their homes, there is little to combat these tactics except facts.
The fact of the matter remains our federal administration has demonstrated complete incompetence when it comes to securing our borders, caring for our nations veterans, providing our own poverty stricken children with the nutrients necessary for their healthy growth and development, and still our country is without a solution to fundamental education concerns and guaranteed job growth. Shouldn't these issues be the priority? Shouldn't we solve that first?
These unaccompanied children receive thorough medical examinations, food and shelter while they are in our care, but the truly humane and compassionate thing to do is send these children back to their families. We have the capabilities, with Federal assistance, and we must do this. It will send a powerful message to others who assume the Texas-Mexico border is a free pass to American opportunity.
Washington has deceived the American people. They have lied to American citizens and hopeful aliens alike. They have defied the United States Constitution, broken up families, and used our border and military personnel as pawns in a sick, twisted political game.
We have a chance in November to reverse their efforts and return the Texas border to the citizens of Texas and the United States. As a member of the Texas House Committee on Homeland Security, as a serving officer in the Texas State Guard, and as your elected Representative, I stand committed to continue to make a difference. Join me on Facebook and on my website, daflynn.com, and let's make a difference together.
Dan Flynn is Texas state representative for District 2. A Republican, he lives in Van, Texas. The above guest column first appeared in a newsletter Flynn sent to constituents.