News and Commentary

Texas Congressmen Visit Border, Return With Simple Message: Walls Work

Over the past week, freshman Texas congressmen Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Chip Roy (R-TX) visited the U.S.-Mexico border to see first-hand what it is U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents deal with on a daily basis, from a security standpoint. Their visit was to the CBP-designated Rio Grande Valley Sector — which, in Fiscal Year 2017, accounted for a stunning 45.26% of all southwestern border apprehensions, despite the fact that it is but one of nine total CBP-designated southwestern border sectors.

The congressmen returned with a fairly straightforward message: Walls work, CBP is chronically understaffed, and politicians need to do a dramatically better job of providing our Border Patrol agents with the resources they need in order to be successful.

On February 1, Crenshaw appeared on Fox News and tweeted: “Biggest takeaway from my trip to the border: walls work. There’s a reason our border patrol agents request physical barriers — they help them accomplish the very difficult mission we ask them to do.”

Similarly, as The Daily Wire reported on February 3, Roy also appeared on Fox News and tweeted: “I spent 2 days with the Border Patrol @CBP @USBPChief down in the Rio Grande Valley. I learned a lot. 1) Fences and infrastructure work. 2) Dangerous cartels have operational control of our border. 3) Any real fix must address the asylum problem.”

Roy spoke passionately about the human trafficking operations of the Mexican cartels, lamenting, “It’s unconscionable that we as a nation, the most powerful nation the world has ever known, are allowing this to happen in our back yard where these little girls, these kids, are getting exploited by cartels as they move through the Rio Grande Valley.”

As The Daily Wire has previously reported, Roy has dedicated much of his thus-far brief time on Capitol Hill to the border security issue. Last month, Roy devoted his maiden speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to the need to better secure our southwestern border. “Dangerous cartels are calling the shots,” Roy said at the time. “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.”

Roy also took to National Review today to describe his recent trip to the border with Crenshaw. Roy bluntly stated that “[t]he data could not be more clear” that physical fencing and wall infrastructure is helpful.

…we know with some certainty…that fences and physical assets radically improve the ability of CBP to do its job. The data could not be more clear. In the Rio Grande Valley, there is significant fencing and physical infrastructure in the eastern section near Brownsville — but far less in the west, near [McAllen], leaving the border in many areas wide open, with no access for Border Patrol, few cameras, and little fencing. It is of no surprise that 94 percent of the crossings in the [Rio Grande Valley] sector occur in the western portion, just as it is no surprise that the fencing along Southern California dropped apprehensions from over 500,000 in the mid 1990s to close to 30,000 now, and that fencing and increased assets have reduced apprehensions by close to 90 percent in Arizona and El Paso in the past as well.