Commissioner Staples Urges Congress to Pay Border Patrol Agents Working to Keep Nation Safe During Shutdown (10/15/2013)

AUSTIN — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today responds to news of U.S. Border Patrol agents working without pay due to the government shutdown by urging Congressional leaders to make border security a top priority so that the security of our nation is not compromised in the fight against Obamacare.

According to a news report in The Monitor, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot pay agents for their work to secure the border, despite the fact that agents are continuing to work, as a result of the current shutdown in Washington. There are approximately 2,500 Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley who are affected and working without pay.

Below is an excerpt from Commissioner Staples' letter to Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz encouraging leadership to ensure that border security is funded and treated as a top priority by the federal government. 

In the fray regarding the current shutdown, there are many questions about what are the essential functions of the government. Border security is absolutely at the top of this list. Securing our borders against anyone seeking to break our laws or do harm to Americans is of the highest importance and a principle responsibility of government.

I submit to you that there are few higher priorities for the role of government, and I request your urgent leadership to immediately extend funding authorization for Border Patrol agents along the southwest U.S. Border. Our local, state and federal law enforcement agents are doing outstanding work with the resources they have. We cannot let our federal government turn its back on their efforts.

To read Commissioner Staples' letter to Sen. Cornyn, click here, and to view the letter sent to Sen. Cruz, click here.

To view a copy of the news article in The Monitor, click here.

To hear firsthand accounts of how the porous border is directly impacting the lives and safety of South Texans, farmers and ranchers, visit www.ProtectYourTexasBorder.com.