Fourth-generation Rio Grande Valley Texan and local pastor Jason Mangum is on a mission to educate and activate Americans amidst Biden’s border crisis.

Mangum founded grassroots organization America Saved, where the goal is “to educate, empower and engage people to become active participants in bringing productive and real change within every area of culture and society.”

According to Mangum, the border crisis has caused the spark of political activism to ignite in a big way because the consequences of D.C. policies affect the daily lives of Texans living on the border. 

“You have soccer moms now talking about things they would have never talked about, like globalism and the influence of [things] that are happening from a global perspective,” he told Texas Scorecard. “It’s just interesting to see.”

Mangum’s organization provides education and helps people get involved in local politics. 

“We’re pretty involved, pretty engaged in different things and primarily to educate people on their liberties and freedoms, as well as get them involved. My thinking is, get people educated; therefore, you get them empowered to be able to then engage and actually get involved.”

As policies like the Biden administration’s open border policy continue to impact the average citizen on the border, Mangum shared some thoughts on the current administration and its effects:

This new administration is on a fast track to destroy America as fast as they can and in a big way. The open border policy is part of it. So, that’s actually brought a lot of awareness. I mean, you have people that never before would have gotten involved in some of these areas, come up to a wide range of topics … from border security to their liberties, their personal choices, self governance, and basically their freedoms that are being corroded by this administration. … And with that being said, people are now getting involved, becoming precinct chairs.

Mangum dissuades people from expecting the change to come from the national level, instead focusing on the impact that can be made in their own backyards. “I think people always are looking for some national hero to fix everything, and it ain’t gonna happen if it doesn’t happen locally. So, we’re very grassroot oriented, people getting involved at a city level, city council, school board levels, in precinct chairs, at the GOP, things like that.” 

According to Mangum, around 21 percent of people who attend their meetings are getting involved in grassroots politics in a wide range of local elections. 

When Mangum asked local citizens about the biggest threats or issues they’re facing, he got some fascinating answers. 

“It’s interesting because the biggest thing that we find is the lack of knowledge. … And we’re hopefully curbing the gap on that. And that’s what a big focus for us has been because, overwhelmingly, people say, ‘I just don’t know, I don’t know what to do. I don’t have knowledge. I don’t have tools.’ And so, that’s what we’ve been doing, is giving them the tools, giving them training on how to get engaged,” explained Mangum.

Down on the southern border, some of the key issues sparking political activism aren’t just the effects of illegal immigration. Education has also been a huge activator for people. 

“Schools is a big one. Education because of CRT, because of what they’re trying to indoctrinate our children in. Plus all of the different mandates, even with the masking of our kids and things like that, and even now, getting into the vaccine. That’s what [has] kind of almost woke, I think, parents to get involved in those areas,” Mangum said. “And it seems that the Valley has this … it’s like this almost Gestapo. I mean, we have these microtyrants of political leaders that are liberal. What we see is that they have all these decrees and mandates and do all these things that are really just tyrannical in people’s eyes. So that’s where they get involved.”  

Local government officials are “out of control” and ignoring the situations right in front of them, according to Mangum:

We attend county meetings, school board meetings. And we actually speak and we actually address some of these different issues, and they call us liars. And they call them legal immigrants—not illegal immigrants, legal immigrants. So, you see [these] local government officials, elected officials who are simply out of control, and it’s a money grab for them. That’s all it is. Some of these meetings you go to at the county level, it’s all about the money and the funding that they’re going to get from the federal government. That’s all it is. It’s a gravy train for them.

Magnum blames large think tanks with globalist agendas for pushing financial incentives at these local officials, who then allow the illegal immigration.

“This uncontrolled immigration is a benefit to them financially. And they’re all being pushed by big organizations. For instance, Wilson Center. You have people coming down from the Wilson Center, you have local city mayors … he takes people to D.C., to New York City on taxpayer dimes to be indoctrinated by the Wilson Center.” 

Ten of these local mayors in the Valley wrote a letter to then-President Trump opposing the border wall. 

Mangum claims, “It’s a trickle-down effect of what they’re being told in these think tanks.” 

Local banks have also hosted speakers from organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum for local elected officials to listen to and speak with, according to Mangum. “It’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen.”

Mangum and his fellow citizens have organized protests against some of their local officials’ actions, including when the local government voted in the middle of the night to create an illegal immigrant camp in the middle of the community. 

Magnum said one of the illegal immigrant camps was about two or three blocks from his home and on the same block as the GOP headquarters for Hidalgo County.

“They set up a camp where they were taking all COVID-positive illegal immigrants to a camp on a 20-acre plot of land that they did overnight in a rolling quorum. They voted to put it up. And they did it in the secret of night. And it was the next day that we found out, and so the people in the community said, ‘What is going on?’ And so, there’s no security to keep people in and only security to keep people out,” explained Mangum.

The security guards were very hostile, according to Mangum. They then organized a protest that Fox News covered, and the camp was shut down that same night. 

“… We brought some public awareness and they got caught with their pants down [on] how they did it and how they voted it in. That was with a so-called conservative Republican as the mayor … [it] was all done under his watch,” said Mangum, referring to McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, a former Hidalgo County GOP chairman elected last June.

Corruption combined with the surge of illegal immigration in the past year has greatly affected the local community. However, Mangum says it isn’t the government necessarily creating these camps and facilitating the illegal immigrants, but rather NGOs that have played a large role. 

“It’s all being done by NGOs; non-government organizations are the ones running this illegal immigration problem. They’re the ones in charge. For instance, there’s an organization called Cheshire Catholic Charities, which has a stronghold on all of the illegal immigration activity that gets run through. So that’s what’s interesting, is it’s not so much the Biden administration that is actually doing it. It’s the people that the administration has allowed to take charge or instigated, which are these NGOs,” explained Mangum.

Mangum sympathizes with the desperate situation that many of these illegal immigrants are in. “So what’s happening is you have these precious people that are in desperation. [They’ve] been incentivized to come over here illegally. And they’re indebted. They’re going to be indebted. Well, they’re obviously indebted to the government, but they’re indebted to the cartel. But then, what’s the difference nowadays?” 

However, the border is not simply being used by people in search of a better life, based on Mangum’s conversations with some border patrol agents. 

“The drug cartels are making more money off of humans, human trafficking, than they ever did off of drug trafficking. … They’re apprehending so many of these sex offenders that are known sex offenders coming across illegally. And so, you’re having terrorists that are trying to sneak through. I mean, of all places like Yemen and Syria, you have [that], so that’s kind of what we’re seeing and what’s being allowed into our communities.” 

Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative Operation Lone Star is not seeing the results border residents want as these dangerous criminals are brought into their communities. 

“There’s a lot of political theater that happens through this. And that’s the unfortunate thing. There is a lot of talk now. Has he done some things? Yeah, he’s sent DPS down here. He’s reinforced, he’s had the National Guard. But a lot of times there’s a lot of talk, but there’s no action, or not enough action, and unfortunately, that’s what we’re seeing,” said Mangum. 

Mangum’s message to Abbott: “Stop talking about it and get it done.” 

He’s had “enough of the political narrative” and wants to see actual results because “the flood is not stopping.” 

And as for fellow citizens, “The big thing for them to know is that [if] they want to see any change, they need to stop complaining and get involved.”

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.