AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today joined President Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in McAllen for a roundtable on immigration and border security. The Trump administration is requesting $5.7 billion from Congress to secure America’s borders – an amount that’s one-tenth of 1 percent of federal spending.
“I appreciated President Trump’s invitation to participate in the roundtable, and I expressed my gratitude that the rule of law is finally returning to the southwest border under his leadership,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Texans know better than anybody that no one has done more to secure our borders than President Trump. Failing to secure our borders causes devastating loss to Texans and to those who come to our state illegally.”
Texas is home to roughly half of the nation’s southwest border, and about 68 percent of those caught crossing the border illegally into the United States enter through Texas.
Attorney General Paxton shared with President Trump the statistics in Texas related to border security: Between 2011 and 2018, nearly 200,000 criminal illegal aliens were booked into Texas jails and charged with committing 291,000 criminal offenses, including 539 homicides. Victims of illegal immigration crime also spoke at the roundtable, including Maria Vega. Her son, Javier Vega, Jr., a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas, was killed by two illegal immigrants in 2014.
In his remarks at the roundtable, Attorney General Paxton dispelled any notion that a border wall won’t work, singling out El Paso and its 131-mile fence that was completed in 2010. “El Paso used to have one of highest crime rates in America,” he said. “Since that fence went up, the crime rates in El Paso are now among the lowest in the country. So, we know it works.”
Attorney General Paxton also spoke about the dangers migrants face on their journey, such as winding up victims of human trafficking. Texas is considered a major hub for traffickers, and one report estimated there are more than 300,000 victims of sex and labor trafficking at any given time in the state. In 2016, the attorney general created a special unit in his office to combat the problem. “Border security will clearly have a positive effect on those horrible statistics affecting our women and children,” Attorney General Paxton said.