Op-Ed: Our Security Starts at the Border

By January 10, 2018News, Uncategorized

As many of our families were busy preparing for Christmas and winding down 2017, two families were missing their daughters.

Just weeks ago, their trafficker was arrested in San Antonio after being caught selling the underage girls for sex in a motel off I-35.

It’s unthinkable that slavery still exists in 21st-century America — and it’s a tragedy that 25% of our nation’s human trafficking cases come out of Texas. As many as 80% of victims are children.

Texas has seen firsthand that a porous border creates a pipeline of criminal activity into our communities. The border may be hundreds of miles away, but the ripples of transnational gang and cartel activity are here in the Hill Country. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Gang Threat Assessment found that Comal, Hays, and Kerr counties were in the median range for gang activity. Travis and Bexar ranked among the highest.

As a father, I won’t stand for this. As Americans we have a sovereign right to know who is visiting our country, for how long, and for what purpose. If our government doesn’t control immigration, then the cartels will.

And as the next congressman for District 21, I will continue the work I’ve done in the Texas Legislature to fight the unspeakable crime of human trafficking.

As a state representative, I voted to increase criminal penalties for human trafficking, to ban sanctuary cities that allow smugglers here illegally to walk free, and to give child sex trafficking cases priority status in our courts. And I helped send more resources, including technology and boots on the ground, to secure the border when the Obama administration derelicted its duty, placing our citizens in danger.

The left has controlled the narrative on border security for too long, spinning illegal immigration as an issue of compassion. To some extent, they’re right — but the compassionate solution is to secure the border once and for all. We must stem the flow of illegal drug and human smuggling that threatens our communities and our families. Our nation must uphold the rule of law and its commitment to our safety and security.

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and I’m proud of what I’ve done to crack down on this unspeakable crime. Texas has taken unprecedented steps to invest our own tax dollars in stopping human trafficking and securing the border, a path the federal government should follow. I’d be honored to have your vote for Congress to continue the fight in Washington, D.C. and work to Make America Like Texas.