Wilson County News March 13, 2013 2,952 views 3 comments
FLORESVILLE -- The Texas border is not safe, despite comments to the contrary from federal officials. This was the message delivered by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples Feb. 21 in Floresville, as he shared true stories of farmers and ranchers endangered by Mexican drug cartels and violence on the U.S.-Mexico border.
During the Feb. 21 Wilson County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Staples spoke of the drug cartels that are literally chasing farmers and ranchers off their properties. He disagreed with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s statement that the border is safe.
“The border is not a safe place for farmers and ranchers that live in rural areas,” Staples said.
The drug cartels have been linked to 60,000 deaths in Mexico and are responsible for deaths in Texas also, Staples said.
He has taken a stand on the issue, not only by speaking about the serious problem, but by writing a book and starting a website to highlight the problem.
“It is not good enough for me, while our federal government is saying it is better than it has ever been, when farmers and ranchers know different,” Staples said.
Staples has seen the problem firsthand while observing the situation from a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter. He witnessed heavily armed agents take on drug cartels, and undocumented workers trying to cross the border into the United States.
In 2011, according to a Texas Department of Agriculture press release, Staples unveiled www.ProtectYourTexasBorder.com, “in response to comments from federal officials undermining the real and present impact of Mexican drug cartel violence on American soil.”
Staples recounted one of these incidents during the Lincoln Day dinner, citing a ranch foreman who returned fire in self-defense after being shot by alleged drug runners.
In his book, Broken Borders, Broken Promises, Staples describes the insecurities of the Texas/Mexico border, which comprises two-thirds of the U.S. border with its southern neighbor.
According to Staples, “our porous border is not only allowing violent drug cartel members to invade the United States and poison our future with illegal drugs, but it has created a thoroughfare for millions who have come looking for work in the shadow of our laws.” In the book, Staples documents the daily dangers faced by the state’s farmers and ranchers and provides a “framework for reform to solve our country’s most critical challenges.”
Staples said, “All net proceeds of the book’s sale are being donated to causes to secure our border, support our law enforcement, and foster ideas to reform our failed immigration system.”
As Texas agriculture commissioner, Staples aims to continue the state’s trade relationship with Mexico. In doing so, Staples hopes to modernize and reform the “failed immigration system that amplifies the insecurities of our border.” He also wants “the federal government to provide the resources Texas needs to secure its border.”
See related article, page 1D, for more from the agriculture commissioner’s speech.
Hey, Facts. In case you're unaware, the borderlands have a lot of ranches. Ranches fall under the purview of AGRICULTURE! If ranchers are being run off their land by lawless thugs, then that affects their bottom line, which ... More ›
Hey, Facts. In case you're unaware, the borderlands have a lot of ranches. Ranches fall under the purview of AGRICULTURE! If ranchers are being run off their land by lawless thugs, then that affects their bottom line, which eventually will drive up our food prices.
The lack of border security is a major concern on many levels. It's about time state and federal officials actually do something about it!
Texas agriculture commissioner an expert on the border? The DHS is responsible for border security and only they are the experts. It is not Texas responsiblity to secure the border, that is a Federal job. Texas just wants ... More ›
Texas agriculture commissioner an expert on the border? The DHS is responsible for border security and only they are the experts. It is not Texas responsiblity to secure the border, that is a Federal job. Texas just wants the jobs and money associated with securing the border.