Cartel Threat Rises Near Texas Border Amid Lax Security

Recent discoveries near the Texas border highlight an alarming reality: the U.S. southern border remains vulnerable to incursions by Mexican cartels, which threaten to disrupt the security and stability of the nation.

On the Texas bank of the Rio Grande, Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents recently uncovered several weapons believed to belong to Mexican cartels. Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez acknowledged, “Our U.S. Border Patrol Agents confront threats daily as they do their best to secure our border.” Images of the found items reveal an AR-15-style rifle and a Kalashnikov-style rifle hidden beneath river waters.

Regrettably, this isn’t an isolated incident. Last Friday, a brazen armed Mexican cartel gunman, while accompanying a group of illegal migrants, pointed his rifle at the Texas National Guard in broad daylight. He made his escape before officials could intervene.

Recent images at the border depict suspected cartel gunmen venturing across the U.S. southern border, donned in body armor and carrying rifles. Although Border Patrol agents, including the BORTAC tactical unit, were swiftly dispatched, no arrests were made. It’s the same area where authorities detained five suspected members of the Northeast Cartel in June.

While large numbers of migrants have been pouring in, it’s crucial to note that the vast majority do not possess criminal records. Yet, the surge has sparked worries about the individuals who might slip through unnoticed. Although numbers had decreased after Title 42’s end, preliminary data suggest a surge in July.

While touting their initiatives to reduce reliance on smugglers, the Biden administration still faces criticism for not adequately addressing the border’s vulnerabilities. The decision by the Pentagon to extend the stay of 400 troops at the border till August’s end does little to alleviate these concerns.

Perhaps more unsettling is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General’s recent report, which highlights Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) inconsistent inspections of outbound traffic. Such checks can crucially disrupt Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) by preventing the illegal exportation of currency, firearms, and narcotics. The report states: “TCOs require a steady supply of firearms and ammunition to assert control over the territory where they operate, eliminate rival criminal organizations, and resist government operations.”

However, the report indicates that CBP officers don’t consistently inspect outbound traffic. This inconsistency allows TCOs to transport illegal assets like firearms, currency, and narcotics, potentially fueling cross-border violence.

With 167 land crossings between the U.S. and Mexico, the inconsistency is glaring. The DHS IG’s probe into 108 crossings found significant variations in inspection techniques and technology used.

The recent findings and lapses in outbound inspections point to a larger issue: the pressing need for a robust, comprehensive strategy to safeguard the border. As the Mexican cartels grow bolder, U.S. policies and actions must become tighter to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.