Border crisis dominates LOC concerns

County Road 146W stretches about 10 miles inland off of US Highway 281 and the majority of it is unpaved and barren in Live Oak County. Local law enforcement are averaging response to a bailout every other day, often near this area. (Photo by Pink Rivera)

Frustration over recurring bailouts, high speed chases and threats to the community prompted community members to speak to the Live Oak County Commissioners Court during a recent meeting, and to request that a state of emergency be declared in response to the ongoing border crisis.

McMullen County Commissioners approved a state of emergency declaration during their April 27 meeting, and Karnes County Commissioners did so during their April 30 meeting. Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff said the Live Oak County Commissioners Court, which had just received copies of a similar declaration from another county, would take up the matter at the May 10 meeting.

“Twelve counties have declared an emergency in response to the border crisis, and McMullen County commissioners also adopted resolutions supporting the U.S. Constitution and Second Amendment rights,” Roberta Dobie, of Whitsett said. “I hope this will be addressed in Live Oak County.”

“Yes,” Huff said.”This is a community decision to say this is an important concern and this is a local disaster.’

Earlier this year, Live Oak County adopted a resolution declaring the area a safe haven for Second Amendment rights, and expressing support for LIve Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby in enforcing the Constitutional rights of the people to legally possess firearms — and in refusing to sanction the enforcement of any laws which were counter to both state and federal gun rights.

“We will also have a declaration regarding the Constitution of the United States, saying that we are affirming the Constitution and these are our God given rights,” Huff said.

“We do believe that immigration issues need to be handled and that not open borders. The sad part is, do I see any immediate relief? No. But I’ve got to hand it to our law enforcement, they are doing a great job.”

Huff said the ongoing crisis “is definitely a worrisome problem and I know this county will entertain any ideas (to help resolve issues), any way to do things better or more efficiently.”

He pointed to efforts to deal with human smuggling and other border related crimes through Operation Stone garden and Operation Border Star, which provides extra funding for law enforcement to deal with the crisis.

“This keeps more law enforcement on the road and that’s a good idea,” Huff said. “We try to do our best to protect you, and to be responsible with your funding.”

Rodney Wilson of George West said he has seen the border crisis expand to Live Oak County significantly in the past few months.

“I appreciate the things you are doing,” he said. “Since Jan. 20 (with a new presidential administration) everybody knows we’ve had open borders on our southern border. The main emphasis of any government is to keep its citizens safe, and our federal government is failing.

“It’s just not right, and I saw Governor (Greg) Abbott on TV talking about the number of troops on our southern border. I’d like to know what they’re doing. It seems the Border Patrol is just letting (illegal immigrants) come in.

“I want to designate Live Oak County as a non-sanctuary county for illegal immigrants. I wonder what all the legal immigrants think. They worked so hard, studied the Constitution and went through the process. It’s really unfair to them. It’s disheartening. We’re going to lose our country. I don’t see things changing with the federal government any time soon — at least four years.”

Despite the crisis and concerns, Huff answered that he is “glad I live in Texas.”

Grace Wilson of George West said she also wants to see an official declaration that LIve Oak County not condone or support illegal immigrantion.

“Everybody we know wants to be a non-sanctuary county for illegals,” she said. “I also want to see a declaration of a local state of disaster (because of the border crisis). Our federal government is not protecting us. We depend on y’all (local government) to help us preserve our lives, property and public health.

“I want people to know what is important is what this body of government does. Your actions make us feel a little bit safer. Our federal government is not protecting us. If there needs to be a correction, the people will do it. We want to close the border to save America.”

Monte Jennings of George West said it is up to local officials to respond to the challenges.

“I have truly to tell you we appreciate you, we depend on you, we put our trust in you,” she said. “Our country is being invaded. I hope everybody’s eyes are awake. If we want to be able to come and speak we can.

“We are putting our faith and trust in you to do the right thing.”

Judge Huff said he appreciated the input and involvement, and that local leaders will work to help respond to challenges and concerns.

“Your message has been received,” he said. “I think we’re all on the same page. I know we are.”



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