FAIR’s “Border School” Is Teaching, Reaching and Empowering Law Enforcement, State Legislators, and Activists
Nothing is more powerful than giving people a firsthand look at the border crisis, and FAIR is leading the charge with its hands-on events such as the training we sponsored in McAllen, Texas late September. There, FAIR’s State and Local Engagement Department brought together over 100 state legislators, law enforcement officials and FAIR state advisors to witness the border crisis in person. The goal of our border school was to demonstrate the true causes of the immigration crisis at our southern border and to provide attendees with solutions they can implement in their home states to mitigate its impact.
To help attendees absorb the scope of the crisis, FAIR invited numerous senior law enforcement officers to share their expertise. Among those addressing the attendees were Texas Border Czar Mike Banks, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon, U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief for the Rio Grande Valley Sector Alfredo Lozano, and several Texas sheriffs.
After hearing from these experts, FAIR staff provided concrete steps that both legislators and law enforcement officers should undertake in their respective states to discourage illegal immigration. FAIR also provided the legislators with actual bills they can introduce as well as a legislative handbook they can reference as they dive into the issue. Given the administration’s outright refusal to control the border and enforce immigration laws under, state and local action is essential. FAIR understood this decades ago and has over the years, developed a robust program to partner with lawmakers around the country in support of legislation that discourages illegal immigration and minimizes the burden of it on local communities.
FAIR also organized tours of high-impact areas along the border for attendees. Texas Border Volunteers, a group that works in tandem with Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement, showed attendees where and how criminal cartels smuggle and traffick human beings and lethal drugs into the United States and, sadly, how they locate the bodies of those who die along the way.
Participants were also given a firsthand look at the situation along the Rio Grande river, courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety, as they patrolled the river onboard the department’s boats. From the boats, participants were able to see how and where the cartels are bringing in large numbers of migrants and contraband.
The event was capped off by a press conference along the banks of the Rio Grande, where the lawmakers and law enforcement officers described what they had learned and shared the impact the border crisis is having on their constituents. The press conference received both local and national media coverage.
As one New Hampshire representative summed it the FAIR border school, “It was eye-opening and the future vision was rather scary!” FAIR is fighting to change the future, and we need you to join us in that battle.