Remember when Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed the Southwest border is more secure than it’s ever been? One county in Texas may be manipulating their crime statistics to receive more taxpayer funded federal grants.
Hidalgo County,Texas is across the border from Reynosa, Mexico. Reynosa is one of the most violent cities in Mexico. Hidalgo Sheriff, Guadalupe “Lupe” Trevino, doesn’t think the drug cartel violence is spilling into his county. PJ Media reports that Sheriff Trevino thinks domestic violence is more of a problem for his county than the drug cartels.
PJ Media released a video that showed a Hidago crime analyst speaking with a deputy within the sheriff’s office. The analyst revealed that he would often downgrade the severity of violent crimes in the county.
Hidalgo residents tell a different story about local crime. On August 10th, a local media outlet reported that Hidalgo residents are regular victims of crimes and have no confidence the sheriff will protect them. However, the county has received about $6 million of federal funds specifically designated to secure border cities since 2004. The federal money has been used for anti-narcotic efforts and top of the line video surveillance towers. The money came from a federal grant known as Operation Stonegarden and allowed them to purchase vehicles and video sky towers. Residents say these are used for non-police purposes.
Sheriff Trevino is a friend of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. During a visit in February he made the case to Napolitano that the county needed even more federal money to control the violence. Unlike other trips, some local officials weren’t given time to discuss their concerns. McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez was one official who was ignored by Napolitano.
McAllen is one of America’s fastest growing cities. It received $7 million in state funding to expand four to six extra lanes to cut down on congestion between the US/Mexico border, but the US Customs & Border Protection rejected the funding because the city didn’t have the manpower.
“The issues that we’re raising here are economic issues: How do we improve our region to do business with Mexico, which has been a big driver of our economy?” said Mayor Cortez. “We need to be more efficient (at the ports) and that part of the conversation should be considered.”
Ms. Napolitano and others used these fraudulent stats to claim the border is safe. These fraudsters are allowed to receive more federal money while others are being denied. How much more of America’s hard earned tax money will be wasted?