23 Nov 2016
Laredo, TX

A Texas congressman visited with Border Patrol agents in Laredo and witnessed the apprehension of five illegal immigrants plus the seizure of more than 350 pounds of drugs.

Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) went to the border in the Laredo, Texas, region with members of the National Border Patrol Council who serve as Border Patrol Agents.

“This was not the normal dog and pony show tour normally put on by Border Patrol management for Members of Congress,” Border Patrol Agent Hector told Breitbart Texas in his role as president of National Border Patrol Council Local 2455. “We took the Congressman out into the brush were he saw the real border as seen by Border Patrol agents.”

Garza said he met with the Texas representative on Saturday to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to stop Operation Phalanx. The operation was an aerial border surveillance program that utilizes National Guard helicopters and aircrews to assist Border Patrol agents in detecting illegal crossings and drug smuggling operations.

Border Patrol Agent and National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 President Hector Garza met with Congressman Henry Cuellar on Saturday to discuss Operation Phalanx and other Border Security issues. (Photo: National Border Patrol Council)

Congressman Cuellar announced that Operation Phalanx had been shut down by DHS officials despite having received full funding for FY 2017 from Congress, Breitbart Texas reported.

After the discussion on Saturday, Garza scheduled an actual tour of the border so that he could see and feel what Border Patrol agents actually experience in the field. The tour was scheduled for Monday night.

“During the tour, I discussed issues dealing with border security and the agents’ needs on the ground including support for the maintenance of river roads, technology upgrades and vehicle maintenance,” Cuellar said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.

Garza told Breitbart Texas the river roads are an example of missing infrastructure needed by agents to provide lateral movement along the river. “Rep. Cuellar witnessed firsthand how effective these roads are where they are in place,” Garza stated.

“He also witnessed personally how outdated our technology is here in the Laredo Sector,” the veteran Border Patrol Agent continued. “He actually witnessed a malfunctioning tower camera and observed the holes in coverage created by broken equipment.”

Border Patrol security cameras located east of Laredo, Texas. (File Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas)

“Mr. Cuellar seemed very impressed by what he saw on our tour. It is important that our representatives see what the real border is like–not the ‘Potemkin Village’ that Customs and Border Protection officials normally put on for visiting VIPs.”

“Border Patrol agents are hard-working and dedicated law enforcement officers who have an extremely difficult job,” the Congressman said in his written statement. “This is why I will continue to support our men and women in green to continue to provide funding to help them with securing our nation’s border.”

Garza said it was important for Mr. Cuellar to see an actual search and apprehension procedure for people who had crossed the border.

“He got to see how we operate and what we are faced with as we attempt to track down illegal border crossers and drug smugglers,” Garza concluded. “We thank him for his ongoing support for the Border Patrol mission and our members of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455.”