McAllen Police Chief Addresses Recent Border Discussions

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MCALLEN – Legislatures from Washington are making trips to the Rio Grande Valley and other communities to discuss immigration and border security.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are planning tours of the Valley’s border. Some local officials believe the visits provide a chance for local voices to be heard in Washington.

More politicians are speaking out about what they think should be done to aid the border issues.

“It’s like watching a bad movie and watching it over and over and over again. Every two years it seems like,” McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said.

He said he’s tired of it.

“They’ve gotta get that photo op along the border. Like here I am, and I’m here to save it. Well that’s just politics,” he said.

Rodriguez said it’s unfair for the Valley to be the center of the debate on immigration.

“The geographic border might be here, but the result of the problem is in every major city in this country,” he explained.

Rodriguez wasn’t invited to any roundtable discussions with lawmakers or even to meet with DHS Secretary John Kelly earlier this month.

“A lot of people, particularly in Washington that have opinions about this border, the only opinions, the only opinion in my view that counts right now are the people that work this border,” Kelly said during his visit.

“They only want to speak to federal agencies and to state agencies. You know well, my view of that is… Sure if I were one of them agencies, I’d make this area look as bad it possibly could. Because it affords me the opportunity, if I was them, an opportunity to pad my budget,” Rodriguez said.

The chief said federal and state law enforcement politicizes the Rio Grande Valley. He believes data, statistics and reports are used to get funding, not to paint an accurate picture.

“I’m not going to speak to the content of any one particular report. But we obviously differ sometimes with that data,” he said.

Rodriguez said skewed data will likely influence border and immigration policy now more than ever.

McAllen will soon be home to a transnational intelligence center. Information from all municipal, state and federal law enforcement agencies along the border will be complied there.

Rodriguez hopes that will offer an alternative source of data and statistics that will not be politically skewed. 


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