Congressman Michael Cloud hosted a public forum to discuss the crisis on the southern border and the issue of human trafficking. Panelists included Deputy Chief Roy Boyd, Joe Braman, Border Patrol Agent in Charge Samuel B. Briggs II, Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area DirectorMike McDaniel, Sheriff T. Michael O’Conner, and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bradley M. Scott. Congressman Cloud shared a legislative update of what his office has been doing to address the issue, but stressed that there is much more to accomplish. Before the public panel, Congressman Cloud hosted his annual law enforcement roundtable and received updates from local, state, and federal enforcement officials.
“Our form of government relies on an involved and informed citizenry. It’s important for the public to hear and interact with our law enforcement and landowners,” Congressman Cloud added. “The panelists laid out the problems we are facing as a country and the ones they must face each day at work. which not only have ramifications in our community, but throughout the entire country. I plan to take what was shared today back to Washington and keep working to fix these issues.”
“Our country’s border is overwhelmed, yet our border agents do not have the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Congressman Cloud. “Although some steps have been taken – the Trump Administration just announced that it will end the Flores Settlement Agreement – we must do more. ”
The panelists testified about the need to reform asylum loopholes that cartels are taking advantage of in order to traffic migrants into the country. Deputy Chief Boyd said that cartels are moving more and more into the slave trade now because of how profitable it is; while a kilo of cocaine or any drug can be sold once, human beings can be sold numerous time every day.
The panelists also discussed the ways that the border crisis continues to impact communities in our region. Private properties throughout Texas have suffered as a result. Joe Braman has trained dogs for police K9 patrols and narcotics for the past 15 years. He said that he has had several run ins with migrants crossing the border and his property. The problem has only gotten worse as systems at the border have been overwhelmed.
“Our form of government relies on an involved and informed citizenry. It’s important for the public to hear and interact with our law enforcement and landowners,” Congressman Cloud added. “The panelists laid out the problems we are facing as a country and the ones they must face each day at work, which not only have ramifications in our community, but throughout the entire country. I plan to take what was shared today back to Washington and keep working to fix these issues.”
In July, Congressman Cloud cosigned a letter authored by Congressman Chip Roy that expressed support for remaining in Washington over the August recess in order to work on the border crisis. Congressman Cloud testified on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, highlighting congressional inaction and criticizing House members for allowing the situation to worsen while spending months denying the existence of a crisis. He has also met with President Trump at the White House to discuss ways to mitigate the crisis and provide long-term solutions.
“As law enforcement officers we deal with the consequences of the border security crisis each and every day,” said Victoria Chief Deputy Roy Boyd. “The proliferation of transnational criminal organizations is evident in the complexities of the narcotics investigations we conduct and in the slave trafficking taking place throughout our nation. One of the greatest obstacles we face in this fight against the efforts of the cartels and their allies is the lack of understanding by the public, and all the knowledge we possess about this ongoing threat to the safety and security of our communities, our state, and our nation is useless if those who trust in us to serve and protect them are kept in the dark. We are grateful to Congressman Cloud for his leadership and his efforts to engage and educate the public about this most important topic.”
“This was a very good and strong panel,” said Joe Braman. “The congressman expressed himself well, people asked questions, and everyone answered them appropriately. It went really well. I appreciate them recognizing the hard work we do with the dogs and the humanitarian side of these people left to die.”
“The effects of illegal immigration can be felt far away from the border. Working with our state and local partners helps the Border Patrol address the issue and the exploitation of a vulnerable population,” said Border Patrol Agent in Charge (Corpus Christi Station) Samuel B. Briggs, II.
“Human smuggling is another major source of money for drug cartels, who will stop at nothing to spread their poison throughout our nation,” said Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Director Mike McDaniel.
“I appreciate being included in the forum,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge (for HIS Corpus Christi) Bradley M. Scott. “Getting with the community and answering questions on behalf of ICE and Homeland Security with great dialogue made it good to hear from the public about what their concerns are.”