GRAPEVINE, Texas – Grassroots leaders had an eye opening experience Monday night when they realized that political leaders from both sides had been misleading them about the realities of the Texas border. The message was clear, despite the assurances from elected officials, the border is wide open and authorities do not have the manpower or infrastructure to secure it.
The truth about the border did not come from elected officials but from the mouth of the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol, an agency that is often chastised and vilified for their work in securing the border. Rather than getting jeered at or attacked, during their presentation two agents from the Laredo chapter of the National Border Patrol Council (Local 2455) along with Breitbart Texas Managing Director, Brandon Darby, received a standing ovation from those in attendance at the event hosted by the North East Texas Tea Party.
“Generally speaking I don’t like unions, but I like their union,” Darby said referring to Agents Hector Garza and Jarrad Seely. “Their union has spoken out for the men and women who I consider heroes because they are willing to risk their lives every day to protect your families.”
While Breitbart Texas has reported in the past about the deployment of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley, the resources have not been sent to the other four sectors that make up the Texas border. Last month Breitbart Texas brought Texas grassroots leaders to the border to unveil how truly unsecured it is.
The other four sectors have been left with minimal manpower, most agents are typically deployed to care for unaccompanied minors and family units or to help at the processing centers leaving miles of border areas wide open for anyone to come across, Agent Garza said. The areas the agent mentioned included some without any fence, barrier, or cameras to detect drug smugglers or human traffickers.
In the past, most of the human trafficking was done by “mom and pop” outfits that crossed the border on their own, however that changed when Mexican drug cartels began staking claim to the lucrative crossing areas which make up the Texas border. Agent Garza added that currently nothing crosses the border without the blessing of one of those crime syndicates which had no regard for human life.
“There is a myth that most of them come to work, yes some do, however we do get a lot of individuals with serious criminal backgrounds coming through our border,” Agent Garza said. “I ask you to keep Agent (Javier) Vega in your prayers.”
As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, Agent Vega had been fishing with his family when he was gunned down in Willacy County in front of his wife, father, mother, and children in an armed robbery by two illegal aliens, one of which had been deported four times prior.
“Agent Vega acted like any border patrol agent would have acted,” Garza said, “He fought to defend his family from a threat we hope his death wasn’t in vain.”
Breitbart Texas Managing Director, Brandon Darby, told those in attendance that despite the assurances by politicians, who claim to have deployed state assets to the border, it is all just smoke and mirrors, and the border remains wide open.
“If you drive by the RGV sector it looks good, you have DPS, border patrol, and now you will have the Texas National Guard,” Darby said. “But you go one sector over and you will not find a single trooper and very few agents. That is the Laredo sector just across the river from the Zetas drug cartel.”
Seely told the group the current situation in addition to the pressure from the agency leaders to minimize the realities of the border has created a hostile environment where the morale of the men and women in green is at an all-time low.
“We are in a pretty bad spot,” Seely said as he talked about how on weekends helicopters, boats, ATV’s and other assets are not on the field but set up as displays in community events such as minor league baseball games. “If anyone tells you the border is secure, I am a border patrol agent, and I am telling you the border is not secure.”
Seely mentioned one of the issues the agent’s face is the constant pressure to limit their use of force. Many times this leaves them in situations where they are exposed to the dangers of not being able to fight back. Such as, the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Bryan Terry who was gunned down by armed drug traffickers in Arizona.
Because of the use of force policy, Terry had to use bean bag rounds against a team of gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles and other weapons, Seely explained that they can only use their firearms if fired upon first.
“I am overwhelmed,” said Coppell resident, Holly Morse, after the meeting, “I consider myself a very informed individual but seeing and hearing this has left me speechless.”
*This piece has been updated since being published
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter: @ildefonsoortiz