Ammon Blair testified before the U.S. House Budget Committee on the topic of border security on May 8, 2024. Watch the full hearing here.

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.

Today, we stand at a pivotal moment in the history of Texas, facing unprecedented challenges that threaten the very fabric of our state and nation. Texas shares 1,254-miles of border with a failing state, besieged by an authoritarian regime that not only sponsors terrorism but also allows cartels to wield a spectrum of warfare, undermining the rule of law and jeopardizing the safety of our communities.

The Mexican cartels are foreign terrorist organizations, and have extended their nefarious operations beyond the border, infiltrating every major city and many towns across Texas. The threats we face are not isolated; they are intricately linked to global adversaries, including state actors like China, Russia, and Iran, and non-state entities such as Hezbollah, Hamas, MS-13, and Tren de Aragua.

For example, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has weaponized the Mexican cartels and used them as proxies in their drug warfare on American society. The CCP is supplying the cartels with precursor chemicals and synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl.

The Mexican cartels have built a silk road from Mexico, across the border, and into every state, county, and community in the United States, enabling the CCP’s insidious strategy of drug warfare.

The federal government’s deliberate inaction to counter the National security threats has not only exacerbated the border crisis but the federal government is actively weaponizing mass migration and disinformation to erode the very foundations of our sovereignty and stability. This manufactured humanitarian catastrophe has overwhelmed our federal agencies, leaving them unable to fulfill their primary mandate of protecting the American people. As a result, Texas has been left to fend for itself against an unrelenting invasion of complex and evolving threats that threaten the fabric of our society.

The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States. The Executive Branch has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, but it has failed to do so. The Preamble to the Constitution outlines the chief responsibility of the Federal Government: to “ensure domestic tranquility” and “provide for the common defense.” Article IV, Section 4 provides that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government and shall protect each of them against invasion.”

Despite these clear mandates, the Biden administration has not only failed to secure our borders but has actively undermined the efforts of states like Texas to protect their citizens. The administration’s unlawful and unconstitutional commitment to the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration prioritizes “humane migration” over the rule of law.

Recently, a total of more than $7.4 billion in U.S. tax dollars has been allocated to the State Department for “Migration and Refugee Assistance” in FY24.

This staggering sum highlights the administration’s misplaced priorities, focusing on facilitating mass migration rather than securing our borders and protecting our citizens.

All funded by Congress.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has neglected its primary mission, as outlined in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, by prioritizing the facilitation of weaponized mass migration and the importation of millions of foreign nationals into the U.S.

DHS has failed to secure the border and has betrayed the American citizen by exposing them to the threats of Mexican cartels and Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs). DHS’s own definition of security emphasizes “the collective use of programs, plans, and procedures designed to protect the Nation’s citizenry and infrastructures from malevolent attack and ensuring the continuation of normal operations.”

For these reasons, Governor Abbott has declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.

The consequences of DHS’s failure are evident in the staggering data on the opioid and drug epidemic’s impact on Texas:

Just this week, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services responded to a total of 75 overdose cases from Monday to Wednesday evening this week, resulting in 9 overdose deaths. Typically, the county only sees two or three overdoses a day.

Our Economic Impact:

  1. $50.1 billion each year towards the opioid crisis
  2. Hospitals are facing $202.00 per capita of costs associated with this crisis, and those with the loss of life—$706.00 per capita in costs.

The fact that this same federal government acts more forcefully now against Texas than it ever has against the Mexican cartels and our border security crisis tells you everything you need to know about what we face today. We don’t just have a crisis at the border; we also have a crisis of Constitutional governance.

In closing, I implore this body to commit to the utmost priority of protecting our citizens. The future of our great nation depends on our focus against this common enemy. May history remember this day as an essential moment when our nation united to end the Mexican cartels, all national security threats emanating from the border, protect American citizens, and secure a brighter future for generations to come.

Thank you, and I look forward to addressing your questions.