As interest fades in Texas border towns, gunfire and drug smuggling crisis quietly continues

Illegal immigration, drug smuggling causes conflict at small Texas town.

In the small Texas border town of Roma, pops of gunfire have been heard over the last several days as people continue to cross the Rio Grande River illegally to enter The state and the country.

Fox News on Thursday published footage of conflict on the Mexican side of the border, given to the news outlet by the Texas National Guard.

Fox News’ Bill Melugin said, “Soldiers told us there have been cartel gunfights in Ciudad Miguel Aleman, the Mexican city across from Roma, Texas, frequently in recent days and weeks.

The soldiers heard gunfire and explosions two days ago and showed us this video of smoke billowing after the gunfight.”

Described by the Texas Tribune as the “Smuggler’s Paradise,” Roma serves as a legitimate port of entry across from Ciudad Miguel Aleman in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Foot and automotive traffic crosses the Roma –Ciudad Miguel Alemán International Bridge from Mexico entering at a Customs and Border Patrol checkpoint.

But the small Rio Grande Valley town has long been a coveted crossing point between two warring Mexican cartels: Cartel del Golfo (the Gulf Cartel) and the Cartel del Noreste faction of Los Zetas.

The riverbank thick, with tall cane brush, is ideal for hiding and smuggling people and a popular point to smuggle a lucrative narcotics trade. 

Gunfire around this town is nothing new, but it’s intensified after the November 2020 Electons. 

Last December, a Mexican national recorded gunfire on video of “detonations and clashes were reported between armed groups in various sectors of the Miguel Aleman leaving traces of the battle on the facades of the establishments that were hit by bullets.”

In February, counter-terrorism specialist Jason Jones reported of gun battles there. “This is what I have been trying to warn about,” Jones told Fox News. “Another day at the border.”

Shooters could be heard exchanging rounds Jones identified as a 40mm grenade launcher.

In March, reported on a gun battle between the two cartels; and it hasn’t stopped since.  

Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said this week at a border summit in Mission, Texas, southeast of Roma, that, “Criminal cartels listen to action. They don’t care about words. The actions of the Biden administration are very clear, if you cross the border illegally, you will be rewarded. That is what this administration is doing.

”As they give lip service, as they say the borders are closed, their actions clearly demonstrate otherwise. If we continue to reward criminality, if we continue to reward people crossing the border illegally, people will come.

“If we can control illegal immigration we can then go after the profits of the cartels, we can cut down on the drugs that are coming into the U.S., that are killing so many of our children. If we can’t do that the cartels will continue to control everything that is happening at the border. President Biden has a responsibility to the citizens of this great nation to do right by them not by the cartels to enable them to make the profits they are making.”

The cartels are making an estimated $400 million every month in human smuggling alone, Judd says. 

At the border summit, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott discussed how 26 governors sent a letter to Biden requesting to meet to discuss border security solutions, and he never replied. Biden, Abbott noted, has never even been to the border. 

The Republican governors called on Biden to rebuild the wall as part of their proposed solutions on Wednesday. Two days later he answered them indirectly by today announcing he was defunding the last leg of the border wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley where Roma is located.

The Department of Homeland Security announced on the same day that gunfire could be heard in Roma that it canceled all border wall contracts in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Instead, it would begin environmental planning based on recommendations by the Environmental Protection Agency—including biological, cultural and natural resource surveys.

The administration, it states, “Continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures, like border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border.”

Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, whose governor was at this week’s border summit, said, “Leave it to Biden and his team to cancel border contracts for “environmental reasons” when we have a 21-year high of illegal crossers. It is obvious that they do not want to stop illegal immigration. Everyone sees what’s going on at the border except for this Administration.”

Because contracts are legally in place with the construction companies, taxpayers are paying $3 million every day to not build the wall.

So far this year, Texas taxpayers have funded $3 billion towards border security efforts in the Lone Star State and several governors have sent law enforcement agents to assist with Texas and Arizona border security efforts.