Last week, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, both Republicans from Texas, urged the Obama administration to take action against the drug violence
Last week, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, both Republicans from Texas, urged the Obama administration to take action against the drug violence along the southern border after U.S. citizens were killed in Juarez. Texas governor Rick Perry echoed the senators’ concerns, asking for Predator Drones and 100 National Guard troops. And Cornyn is now readdressing the issue.
Cornyn penned a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Subcommittee, requesting a committee hearing as soon as possible on border violence, according to a press release (via Texas Insider).
But are these politicians really looking for solutions or is this just a political tactic?
Melissa del Bosque from the Texas Observer thinks it’s all talk:
Oh, the political hand wringing over border violence. It’s as if the problem had just surfaced this week.
U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson want a “concrete plan” according to a (much publicized) letter to President Obama yesterday.
Governor Perry wants a predator drone. Yeah, that will help.
More political grandstanding and no action in changing a disastrous U.S. drug policy that tore Colombia apart and now has Mexico on the brink.
****Jeremy Roebuck of The Monitor, a Texas newspaper, argues that Cornyn contradicted himself while talking about border violence — first saying that the U.S. encounters cartel violence, then saying there is no spillover violence.
Cornyn’s own statements Wednesday straddled both sides of that line.
“The spillover violence in Texas is real and escalating,” Cornyn and Hutchison wrote in their letter to the president. “Our border patrol agents and local law enforcement are more regularly engaged with gunmen associated with drug cartels.”
He contradicted himself, however, in a conference call with reporters later in the day in which he said, “As far as the Texas border is concerned, we have not had spillover violence, per se.”
The senator’s staff later said that he misspoke in his second statement, pointing to a kidnapping case at a McAllen Walmart that Rodriguez described earlier this week as “cartel related.”
Dave Montgomery of The Star-Telegram connected Perry’s talk about spillover violence to the governor’s upcoming re-election:
Responding last week to the slaying of a U.S. Consulate worker and two others in Juarez, Perry ramped up law enforcement operations along the border by activating a year-old contingency plan to deal with spillover violence. Several border-area mayors said Perry took the action without consulting them, and White suggested that Perry may be overstating the dangers for political gain.
“Exaggerating border violence can undermine economic development efforts of border communities, and that hurts Texas,” White, a former three-term mayor of Houston, said in criticizing Perry’s “secret” contingency plan.
Cornyn’s letter was signed by six other GOP committee members: Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), and Tom Coburn (Okla.).
Read more about it here.
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