In the early part of August 2019, I received an invitation to attend the “Hold Their Feet To The Fire” Immigration and Border Conference in Washington, D.C.

The invite came from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR offered to make the travel arrangements and cover costs of travel and hotel if I was able to attend. I was honored to receive this invite as a select 200 sheriffs from around the country were requested to attend.

On Sept. 25, a dozen Texas sheriffs and I rallied on the Capitol lawn. We met with “Angel Families.” Angel Families’ mission “is to bring illegal alien crimes to the forefront of politicians and American citizens by bringing victims and their families into the light with their stories and to enlighten them of the fight we have in front of us.”

The families we spoke with all had one thing in common and that was they all lost a loved one due to the act of an illegal immigrant.

On the second day of the conference, Sept. 26, several Texas sheriffs including myself met with Senator Ted Cruz and Senator John Cornyn.

We discussed the border crisis and detailed what border law enforcement agencies deal with on a daily basis. Drug trafficking, human smuggling, vehicle pursuits, along with many other topics were discussed.

That afternoon, the 200 sheriffs from across the country met on the White House south lawn for a meet-and-greet with President Donald Trump. A group photograph was taken, and President Trump delivered a speech thanking law enforcement for all their efforts in keeping our country and communities safe.

This was more than a trip to Washington, D.C. for me. This was an opportunity to communicate with sheriffs, Congress, Angel Families, elected officials, federal law enforcement and the President of the United States of America on efforts in protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States and protecting OUR COMMUNITY.

On Jan. 1, 2017 I was sworn in as the Sheriff of Wharton County. On that day, I swore to “faithfully execute the duties of the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office, of this state, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state, so help me God.”

I hold the Oath of Office as one of the highest promises and commitment that I have ever taken.

Some of our elected Congressional members in D.C. have forgotten that oath, and I continue to urge them to do what they were elected to do.

This should not be a political issue, but rather a public safety issue.

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