Criminal JusticeFederalImmigration & BorderIssuesTexas District Attorney Says Biden Policies ‘Allowing, If Not Promoting’ Human Trafficking, Drug Cartels

A criminal district attorney in the San Antonio area ripped the federal government for releasing witnesses in human smuggling cases.
April 28, 2021
As at least two Texas counties have declared states of disaster over human trafficking concerns, remarks by criminal district attorneys in Texas raise questions about the effectiveness of the federal government’s efforts to prevent the victimization of children.

In a written statement to The Texan, Kendall County Criminal District Attorney Nicole Bishop blasted the federal government for inadequately supporting local governments, specifically Kendall County, as they combat the ever-worsening crisis of human trafficking, human smuggling, and other violence on the southern border.

“The federal government, which has the resources to try to bring these criminal enterprises down, have created policies that make it difficult or impossible to prosecute. These policies are allowing, if not promoting, the cartel’s business of smuggling and trafficking,” Bishop wrote.

Bishop and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) wrote in an op-ed in National Review that when local law enforcement officials ask the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for help in cartel cases, they are told to “get as much information as possible and then to let everyone go.”

Local authorities are then placed in the “excruciatingly challenging” position of having to obtain complete confessions from the parties involved because they must release material witnesses if DHS chooses to pursue a smuggling case, Bishop and Roy explained.

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“Federal agents and prosecutors stand ready to do their part to bring these cartels down, but the policies have made it next to impossible,” Bishop told The Texan.

From her perspective as a district attorney, Bishop underscored what she considers an impediment that the Biden administration has placed on local and even federal officials from doing their jobs.

“State agencies are ready and willing to do what we can to protect our communities from having the cartels operate but lack the resources available to the federal government,” she wrote. “Local jurisdictions, like Kendall County, have an extremely difficult challenge to effectively handle these crimes without State or Federal assistance.”

‘Shame on Our Government’

In a social media post on March 17, Polk County Criminal District Attorney Lee Hon disputed the Biden administration’s statements that unaccompanied minors are being placed with “properly vetted sponsors.”

“In response to the President’s claim this morning, there is no way to properly vet who these children are going to be released to on this side of the border or what their true intentions are relative to these children,” Hon wrote.

He said that it should be assumed that a great deal and possibly a majority of the family members of unaccompanied children in the U.S. are here illegally and “without reliable identification.”

“I shudder to think about the future for many of these children in this most recent border surge who believe they are coming here for a better life. Sex trafficking and forced labor are real and shame on our government for not recognizing it or ignoring it in the interest of scoring political points,” Hon reflected.

The State of Texas has filed multiple lawsuits against the federal government over illegal immigration, alleging that the feds have inappropriately disregarded their own COVID-19 guidelines and improperly discarded the “remain in Mexico” policy.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."