Brooks Co. Looking for Federal Funding for Border Security
FALFURRIAS – Counties just north of the Rio Grande Valley are hoping to receive funding from the Trump Administration to secure the border.
U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez is trying to get them recognized as border jurisdictions eligible for border funding.
Brooks County is home to the Border Patrol Checkpoint and a lot of cross-border crime. The county doesn’t get much to fight it though.
Gonzalez told local law enforcement and elected officials, he plans to get them more money to fight border-related crime.
“I think they’re not funded to the extent that they should be. And I’m cognizant of that. I’m bringing up this conversation regularly in Washington, and I hope to see the day when there’s a fair enough amount of funding to keep it safe in this region,” he said.
The federal authorities are spending tens of millions of dollars to expand the checkpoint south of Falfurrias.
Brooks County can’t even afford to prosecute checkpoint crimes.
It costs money to push a smuggling case through state court and the county is not getting help to do so.
“We’re not doing checkpoint cases this time and also Kenedy County, Kingsville, they’re not doing them either. Because of the funding issues we’ve been having,” Brooks County District Clerk Noe Guerra said.
He’s resided in the area for 19 years. He said more and more border-related crimes plague his hometown.
“It’s been hard you know. And it’s getting even worse. The cartels are buying land in the area, they’re strong. They’re strong here. So hopefully this will do something to get things rolling again. We don’t mind doing the cases, but we need the funding,” Guerra said.
He said he hopes federal funding can finally come back to counties just north of those along the river, especially with a federal government so keen on securing the border.