News and Commentary

Conservative Favorite Rep. Chip Roy’s Maiden Floor Speech: ‘Cartels Have Operational Control Of The Border’

Perhaps no freshman congressman arrived in Washington this January with more national movement support than did Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). Roy, who served as the first Chief of Staff for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has also worked for Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and the Austin-based think tank, Texas Public Policy Foundation. After declaring his congressional run to represent Texas’ 21st Congressional District, which spans the Austin-San Antonio corridor across swathes of the Texas Hill Country, Roy received quick endorsements from prominent conservatives such as Mark Levin and Erick Erickson, and activist groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund.

In an October interview in Politico, Tim Alberta portrayed Roy as the “next Ted Cruz.” Roy described in detail the national imperative of border security, and focused specifically on the unique challenges of securing the U.S.-Mexico border across the challenging terrain of Texas:

Texas has unique features. We’ve got ranchers [who] need access to the Rio Grande. We’ve got Big Bend National Park, where you’ve got a lot of beautiful vistas. Fine, you know what? Start down in the Gulf of Mexico, start down in Brownsville, start down in the valley working up the river. Build fences, clear the cane, make sure that [Border Patrol agents] have the resources they need—cameras and radios and better cell signals. When you get to a rancher and that rancher says, “Well, I need access to the river.” “Awesome. We’re going to give you a 100-yard opening or a 500-yard opening or whatever you need, and then we’ll put cameras and we’ll make sure there’s a Border Patrol person manning that post.”

Roy sounded a similar theme in a recent op-ed, lamenting the metasizing predicament on our southern border:

It is time to acknowledge and declare our collective resolve that the era of lawless borders is over. It is simply immoral for our nation to continue turning a blind eye to what is happening to both American citizens and those seeking to come here.

This is not a partisan issue. It is a humanitarian crisis for all. Americans should demand our leaders address it today, regardless of party.

It ought to therefore come as no surprise that, yesterday, Roy devoted his maiden speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to the need to better secure our southern border and enforce our immigration laws. Roy told the story of Jared Vargas, a young man killed by an illegal alien.

“In my visit to the border, one thing is clear,” Roy said. “Dangerous cartels are calling the shots … the cartels have operational control of the border. That’s what we’re sending our guys down on the river, in the Rio Grande, to do to defend this nation. So it’s time for us to put partisanship aside to secure our border.”

“This body has repeatedly authorized assistance to our allies to help them secure their borders,” Roy continued, after describing the success of security walls built by such allies as Israel. “But at the same time, the House is crippled with inaction in securing our own [border].”

Watch Roy’s full speech.