Grassroots America leader gives firsthand account of border conditions
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — The constant flow of illegal immigrants crossing the Texas/Mexican border, brought leaders of conservative groups to see the situation firsthand.
"We wanted to actually see for ourselves even in some of the restricted areas, how easy it is to actually enter the United States illegally," said JoAnn Fleming.
Fleming with Grassroots America We the People, and around twenty others, wanted to see just how difficult it was to cross the border.
"We stood on the banks of the Rio Grande in the Rio Grande Valley sector on Saturday and we weren't even trying to hide and two boats came up and down the river and didn't even notice us," said Fleming.
She said after seeing the landscape, and speaking with many officials on the ground, she was told the resources just aren't there.
"The Border Patrol's hours have been cut, Border Patrol doesn't have the man power it needs to do the job, some of the Border Patrol agents have been actually redirected away from the border back into the interior of the United States to do things like community outreach," said Fleming.
She says much of the focus has been on the children, but according to her conversations, that's not the real issue.
"Border Patrol will tell you children are about one in four of all the illegal crossings. Now what we want to put a spotlight on are the dangerous criminal elements pouring over the border," said Fleming.
A problem, she says, has already found its way to East Texas.
"We are really sure that there are criminal elements that are hiding in some of our Texas cities because law enforcement is not even allowed to ask about, enquire about legal status. We have a recipe for disaster, right here in Texas, and Texas is the gateway to the rest of the United States."
Link to Texas Gang Assessment Report: http://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2014/pr041714.htm