***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

A group of seven Iowa House of Representatives spent June 12-14 observing a variety of immigration, customs and law enforcement activities in southern Texas according to Representative Mark I. Thompson of Wright County.  The trip was arranged and coordinated through a joint effort by Representative Thompson and a delegation of Texans. The cost of the trip was personally paid by each representative.

The Iowa Representatives observed border operations in 100 degree+ heat on the Rio Grande, customs inspections, and law enforcement coordination between a variety of agencies and ranchers.  They also traveled to the Rio Grande to better understand the details surrounding the thousands who were staging on the Mexican side.

Representatives Helena Hayes (Mahaska County), Luana Stoltenberg (Scott County), Steve Bradley (Jones County), Eddie Andrews, (Polk County) Zach Dieken (O’Brien County) and Tom Gerhold (Benton County) accompanied Thompson.  Iowa is a destination for many of those illegally crossing the border due to promises of employment by various large industries in the state.  Due to their immigration status, or lack of, those entering are often subject to human trafficking. Many are minors who often have no parent or proven guardian accompanying them.  Iowa schools and volunteers provide many essentials for these children.

Due to the influx of illegal migrants across the border, Texas Governor Abbott implemented Operation Lone Star in March 2021, a joint mission between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department along the southern border between Texas and Mexico.

Governor Reynolds has also authorized the deployment of Department of Public Safety personnel and National Guard Soldiers to Texas in August in defense of our border to help stem the flow of illegal entries.  According to the Representatives, the assistance is needed, and Texans are very appreciative.

On a related front, Governor Reynolds recently signed House File 630, unanimously passed by both Houses this year which significantly increases the punishment for those who participate in or benefit from human trafficking.  Those found guilty will now face up to 25 years in prison if the victim is an adult, and upwards to life in prison if the victim is a minor.

The team of legislators will be drafting a report in the coming weeks to capture the knowledge and insight which was gleaned as well as further action which can be taken to support border states and defeat the scourge of human trafficking.

Author: Press Release


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here