In the latest U.S. House Homeland Security Committee hearing on transnational criminal organizations, policy director for TPPF initiative Secure & Sovereign Texas Melissa Ford explained the campaign’s research into the threats posed by these criminal organizations, particularly on the southern border.

“Today, the flow of humans being smuggled, opioids, and poisonous illegal narcotics are driven by Mexican drug cartels. These drug cartels are ruthless, strategic, highly organized money-making entities that continue to evolve in strength and sophistication. They are running a billion-dollar slave trade, and are richer, more armed, and bolder than ever. This is leading to a lot of suffering at the border and beyond the border as well. Texas citizens and communities are being devastated by crime, drugs, a humanitarian crisis, and an unprecedented level of violence,” Ford explained.

“The impact on the Texas side of the border is equally disheartening. Exploiting the porosity of our border, cartel operatives have expanded their operations into the United States, inflicting turmoil upon our border communities. Texan ranchers and homeowners often find themselves confronted with armed smugglers trespassing on their land, engaging in theft, destruction, arson, and property invasion,” Ford continued.

“I believe that Mexican criminal organizations are the largest criminal threat to the U.S. right now. Texas is working hard to fight them with every means possible, but we need help, and it is past time to take decisive action to protect American communities. It is crucial that we approach the border situation with a realistic perspective and respond accordingly,” Ford concluded. “The border is already militarized from the southern side, and the cooperation with the Mexican state ceased a long time ago because the Mexican government would much rather cooperate with cartels than with us. In light of these circumstances, we must implement robust measures and utilize the full strength and capabilities of the United States to effectively address the border crisis.”

To read her full testimony, please click here.