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Texas Lawmakers Speaking-Up about Border Violence

The increased drug violence in Mexico and its impact on this side of the border is the subject of increased attention from lawmakers in Washington. Manuel Quinones reports from Capitol Hill.


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Obama administration officials say statistics show the drug violence in Mexico has not significantly spilled over into the United States.

But at a hearing of the Senate’s so-called ‘Drug Caucus’ — Donald Reay of the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition said local law enforcement needs more help from the federal government.

“There need not be blood in the streets of America for us to take a proactive stance against the threat of violence.”

Numbers cited at the hearing show an increase in kidnappings in the Southwestern U.S. and a rash of home invasions. One Senator says there were 42 kidnappings in McAllen between October of 2008 and September of 2009. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison says she’s heard from constituents along the border and elsewhere begging for help.

“There is evidence now of murders that are connected to retaliation of drug cartels in Dallas, and Houston…”

Senator John Cornyn wants unmanned aerial vehicles deployed on the Texas-Mexico border. He’s asking the Pentagon for any other technology they may be able to provide and he’s pushing Congress to approve a grant program to help local law enforcement.

“The burden is falling disproportionately on local and state law enforcement officials. Our Federal officials do a magnificent job but frankly we need more.”

Last week, a group of Texas House lawmakers sent President Obama a letter requesting more border resources. The hearing was one of several on the subject of border violence this year.

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