State rep and local law enforcement weigh in on border security - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

State rep and local law enforcement weigh in on border security

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dps troopers patrol river along Texas borders (Source: KTRE Staff) dps troopers patrol river along Texas borders (Source: KTRE Staff)
dps troopers are scheduled 120 days out to participate in border surge (Source: KTRE Staff) dps troopers are scheduled 120 days out to participate in border surge (Source: KTRE Staff)
sheriff Jason bridges believes local forces can take up the slack while dps are called to special border control mission (Source: KTRE Staff) sheriff Jason bridges believes local forces can take up the slack while dps are called to special border control mission (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

For the past month, the immigration debate has taken center stage.

Monday, President Obama announced he is planning to take executive action on the issue.

"Today I'm beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without congress," Obama said. "As a first step, I'm directing the secretary of homeland security and the attorney general to move available and appropriate resources from our interior to the border. Protecting public safety and deporting dangerous criminals has been and will remain the top priority, but we are going to refocus our efforts where we can to make sure we do what it takes to keep our borders secure."

 

Also today, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson toured border patrol facilities, after confirmation today that a body discovered last month is an 11 year-old unaccompanied immigrant from Guatemala.

 

All of this happening on the Texas border, but having impacts felt around the state, as Department of Public Safety troopers are traveling swiftly to the border. 

State representatives believe there will be local consequences.

 

"[it's] going to put some pressure on our local law enforcement community, so we need to be aware of that," said State Representative Travis Clardy. "Support our local sheriff's office, police departments because they're going to have to stand the gap because we're losing a lot of our state support because that's what we have to do to try to regain control of our border."

Clardy told Deep East Texas leaders that the DPS deployment schedules go to 120 days out. The agency isn't specific on how many troopers are removed from jurisdictions. Sheriff Jason Bridges is confident local forces can take up the slack.

"They'll pull a little bit from here and there from each county at a time just so they don't deplete all the resources in that area and we may not have the extra manpower they usually have here, but there's still going to be some manpower here," Bridges said.

State Representative Trent Ashby of Lufkin praised the effectiveness of previous law enforcement border surge operations. Clardy said the bigger questions will be addressed in the next legislative session.

"What are the magnets causing people to come here?' Clardy asked. "What communications or miscommunications are being delivered in South and Central America to have this overwhelming population come across our border?"

There's a push to start answering the questions in a special session.

"I think there are more productive uses for my time and energy than doing that," Clardy said.

Clardy isn't dismissing the issue's importance. He says special sessions turn into media opportunities. Right now he prefers letting the DPS do its job.

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