Dear Chairman Griffith, Ranking Member Castor, Chairwoman Rodgers, Ranking Member Pallone, and Distinguished Members of the Committee:

Good morning, and thank you for inviting me to testify before you.

As a Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, I bring 22 years of military experience and a deep understanding of border security from my time in the Army and U.S. Border Patrol. My roles have ranged from Infantry Officer in Operation Lone Star to Collateral Intelligence Agent and Marine Border Patrol Agent.

I’ve been on the frontlines of combating drug trafficking and illegal immigration, and I have also coordinated efforts for border wall construction. My career has been dedicated to protecting our nation from threats at our international borders.

Today, I address a pivotal concern, one that, if disregarded, could yield dire repercussions for both our security and the welfare of our citizens. In recent years, I have personally witnessed a noteworthy evolution in the security and stability of our border region. The nature of the challenges confronting us has transformed, necessitating proactive engagement and a comprehensive reevaluation of our strategies. This transition signifies both an opening for advancement and a looming danger.

Americans today are at the mercy of distant forces seeking to eradicate our national sovereignty through unchecked weaponized mass migration affecting every state. Due to the policy decisions and inaction by the current administration, during the past three years, each state has become increasingly threatened by the weaponization of mass migration, Mexican cartels, and an adversarial threat networks all emanating from an open border.

Central to this discourse is the current debate surrounding the nature and categorization of the border: Is the border secure? Who has operational control? Is there an invasion? Is there a crisis? Is every town a border town? How do we know? On the surface, these categorizations might appear as mere semantic distinctions. But they are not. How we label and perceive the border situation will shape our strategic response, the allocation of resources, and, most critically, our ability to secure it.

Yet, despite two decades having elapsed since the inception of the Department of Homeland Security and USNORTHCOM, the border remains shrouded in ambiguity, with pervasive uncertainty, enveloping policy frameworks and the parties involved. A significant challenge also arises from the absence of a standardized definition for Mexican cartel border crimes
and the spillover of violence.

We need to recognize the multifaceted and interconnected nature of the threats we face and devise a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to counter them. We need to allocate sufficient and appropriate resources to secure our border, protect our citizens, and uphold our laws.

We need to hold our government accountable for its actions and inactions, and demand transparency and accountability from our media and public officials.

We, the American people, have the right and the duty to defend our nation and our values. We cannot let our border crisis become our national downfall. We must act now before it is too late.