Amid President Joe Biden’s border crisis, a national guardsman serving in Roma, Texas, sat down with journalist Savanah Hernandez to discuss the open border and subsequent humanitarian crisis.

Notably, Border Patrol is well on its way to logging a record-breaking 2 million encounters with illegal border crossers before the end of the federal fiscal year in October.

As a result of this flood of illegal immigration, drug smuggling has skyrocketed and fentanyl overdoses have become the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18-45, with enough kilograms confiscated over the last nine months alone to kill every Texas citizen twice over.

Additionally, the cartel-led human smuggling operations are wreaking havoc on the lives of minors entrusted to a coyote’s care.

“Sure, open borders are great for people who want to start an American dream, but you’ve got to think about what these people are going through on the other side,” said the guardsman, who remained anonymous.

“It’s not that great, because they’re at the mercy of whoever is [leading the] crossing. Some of these people never make it across. A lot of these immigrants, they’ll tell me at the border that Mexican military or the cartel or whoever it is that catches them, they extort them or they beat them, in order to take whatever they want. That’s a danger all on its own.”

Although the guardsman discussed the mental and emotional impact of being shot at by cartels and finding corpses that were dipped in acid, he said that pales in comparison to what’s happening to these kids.

“I’ve seen a 3-year-old little girl with her 7-month-old brother … just left on the riverbank for me to find,” he recounted, saying that the little girl was so scared and her parents had just left.

Another case involved a 7-year-old girl.

“The coyote kind of just threw her up onto the riverbank and got her stuck in some barbed wire.” The guardsman found her while doing a foot patrol in 100-degree heat. “But she was wearing like a windbreaker. She was wearing a really big jacket. So, I can imagine how hot she was.”

That one was really hard to fathom. Like, I knew what I was looking at, [but] it was still hard for me to believe what I was looking at.

Another component of the human smuggling is the rampant rape and sexual assault on women and children.

“She was an 11-year-old girl from … Cuba, I believe it was,” said the guardsman.

She was crossing. Her mother gave her a box of condoms, and mom told her she was going to meet her for the cross.

However, her mom never showed up.

“She crossed by herself,” explained the guardsman. “So, when I found her, she had three condoms left in a box of like 15, or something like that. It was a big box. She only had three left.”

Pretty much, the coyotes did what they wanted with her.

Roma is a hotspot of cartel activity and infamous for its excessive amount of unaccompanied minors. Additionally, corruption runs rampant in Roma.

“The cartel down there are much more vicious and just really combative, which is why you’ve seen this huge shift from the RGV area up to Eagle Pass and Del Rio, because the cartel there are a lot more ‘humane,’ if you will,” said Sheena Rodriguez, president of Alliance for a Safe Texas.

One of the things that we are trying to push for is to declare the cartel as domestic terrorist here in the state of Texas.

“We know that this is happening on Texas soil,” said Rodriguez. “We know that these children are being exploited. We know that they’re being trafficked across the great state of Texas and they’re being dispersed right here, throughout Texas and beyond. Why is Texas not doing more? Why are Texas state officials not doing more to say we’re not going to allow this to happen any longer here in the state of Texas?”

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.