My name is Carine Martinez, and I am campaign director for Secure & Sovereign Texas at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research institution based in Austin, Texas. Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of House Bill 7.

The humanitarian crisis going on at the border is on everyone’s mind. It is heartbreaking to see literally millions of migrants being smuggled—and as we know often abused—across the Texas–Mexico border in the worst conditions possible. The Mexican drug cartels, which are responsible for the smuggling of both humans and illegal drugs into Texas, the former being used to help further the latter, are quickly developing sophisticated networks within Texas and the United States to increase their illegal operations.