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Every Town Is a Border Town

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Hi Bandera! I am a college junior at Harding University. I’m very excited to become the junior writer for the Bandera County GOP, providing news with a conservative lens. I hope you will enjoy me waxing eloquently about noteworthy topics.

Sincerely, Your Deplorable-in-Training

A lot of people might think that small towns are unaffected by the crisis at the Texas-Mexico border. After all, the border is hundreds of miles away, and there are no caravans of illegal aliens streaming into Bandera. However, readers would be sorely mistaken to think that small towns like ours aren’t affected by the border crisis.

I spoke with Sheriff Daniel Butts, and he informed me of the impact Bandera experiences.

Governor Greg Abbott issued an order for more state troopers to police the border in order that the state of Texas could help those truly seeking asylum and curb the deluge of illegal aliens. The DPS officers are called on two-week shifts, often working twelve hours a day.

After the two-week shift is over, they return and continue their duties in Bandera. Naturally, the officers are exhausted and often take off a day or two to recover before resuming patrol duties in our county.

Sheriff Butts told me that he has no control over how many state troopers are sent to the border. There are only four troopers stationed in Bandera, and lately, one is called to the border in a rotation. This means that there are fewer state troopers to respond to the needs of Bandera citizens, thus directly impacting our safety.

The role of DPS is to respond to traffic fatalities and accidents, dole out traffic tickets, and keep the highways safe. Because of the shortage, exhausted patrolmen will be stretched thin between tasks. Bandera citizens will experience an increased wait time for a response to traffic accidents.

In addition, if a DPS officers is unavailable to respond, a Bandera County deputy will be sent. That is one less officer on hand to respond to real crimes such as a home invasion, thus leaving us less safe. It can, therefore, also affect wait times which is another impact to our public safety as a whole.

Being short one or two DPS officers may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that Bandera is not able to absorb even a small shortage of officers. Major cities such as San Antonio or Dallas are more equipped to absorb the shortage of state troopers due to the cities’ large sizes and large number of officers.

Additionally, Sheriff Butts indicated that there are still vacant positions in the sheriff’s office.

The border crisis will no doubt require complex, long-term solutions. We can no longer ignore the contentious issue of illegal immigration. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection estimates that there are over one million illegal immigrants that have crossed into our country since January 21 of this year.

Border Protections estimates that by the end of the year, if illegal immigration is not curbed, the United States will have over two million new illegal aliens living in our country. This is two and a half times more than under the Trump administration.

Though they are not housed in our city, it still affects us as our tax dollar pay for food and housing across the country.

In addition, as those seeking asylum await their court date, usually two years from that time they entered the U.S., they are taking jobs from U.S. citizens, directly affecting American lives.

Though we do not have the repercussions of illegals tearing down fences and committing crimes in our community like border towns or even nearby Hondo (mainly because, as Sheriff Butts pointed out Bandera is not on a major highway), we are impacted through our tax dollars and officer shortage.

In this way, every town is a border town.

Though this news can be discouraging, we are a Constitutional Republic, and there are actions we as citizens can take.

We should urger our representatives to bring back the wait in Mexico policy. Call them and let your voice be heard. It is important to stay informed on border patrol statistics and how many people are entering our country, legally and illegally.

It is also important to pray for wisdom for the troopers, the governor, and those in charge of the migrant facilities. Pray those in charge make Godly decisions for the good of Texas citizens as well as the illegal immigrants.

As Benjamin Franklin told the Signers, “God governs in the affairs of men…. if we do not turn to Him, we shall fare no better than the builders of Babbel.”

Casey Lay is a Bandera native currently studying at Harding University in Searcy, AR, an English major.