Del Rio Border Security Briefing
Good afternoon. Over the past several weeks, state, local and federal officials have conducted a joint operation aimed at better securing the Texas border in the Del Rio area.
I have been briefed by law enforcement representatives on the success of this operation, and I am encouraged by the tremendous results they have achieved.
Over the past several weeks, this initiative significantly reduced all types of crime, led to dozens of arrests and effectively shut down the activities of international crime syndicates across a five-county region.
This effort has proven the principle that an increase in patrols leads to a decrease in every kind of crime.
It has protected our border and our communities.
And it has provided a model for future operations that will be conducted in every county along the Texas-Mexico border.
This operation brought together the sheriffs from Kinney, Maverick, Val Verde, Zavala and Dimmit Counties, the police departments of Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Public Safety, the Texas National Guard, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Civil Air Patrol and my Division of Emergency Management.
To assist local officers, the state provided aviation assets, state troopers and a DPS SWAT team, game warden units with all-terrain vehicles and a dozen boats to patrol Lake Amistad.
Intelligence was coordinated through the state Border Security Operations Center, and planning began a full six weeks out.
The result has been a major reduction in crime and a major disruption in the day-to-day activities of international criminal enterprises.
As the presence of law enforcement surged, common criminals stayed off the streets, fewer Texans made emergency phone calls to local sheriffs, and drug smugglers shut down their operations because the risk of being caught was too great.
We will achieve similar results as we use this operation as a model for joint law enforcement efforts in other border counties.
The international drug cartels and human smuggling rings will not know when or where these operations will occur, what types of activities they will involve, or how long they will last.
But they can be certain that the cost of doing business in Texas is going up substantially.
When it comes to border security, Texas is not waiting for Washington to act.
The state is continuing to provide funding for border sheriffs through Operation Linebacker, we are implementing a virtual border watch program, and I will ask the legislature to provide $100 million to sustain our border security efforts.
And with additional joint law enforcement operations to come in the future, Texas will continue to do all we can to support the hardworking men and women of the U.S. border patrol, and make our border stronger and our nation safer.
Thank you. We would be happy to take your questions.
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