Sheriff Roy Boyd of Goliad County, Texas, joined other law enforcement officials from his state last week to raise alarm about the border crisis that’s wreaking havoc in America. These local officials, who confront the consequences daily, are now calling it an “invasion.”
Boyd, a seventh-generation Texan, recently spoke to The Daily Signal about what it’s like in Goliad County, the vicious cartels trafficking humans and drugs, and why the problem of illegal immigration is much worse than anyone realizes.
“This is just a tidal wave of people coming across. It is an invasion. There’s no two ways about it,” Boyd says. “When you, as a taxpayer in the state of Texas, can’t utilize your own property because of the massive wave of people, it is an invasion, and that’s exactly what it is.”
Listen to our interview or read a lightly edited transcript below.
Rob Bluey: We have seen, month after month, the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border increase. What is it like for you and your residents in your county?
Sheriff Roy Boyd: Well, anywhere throughout South Texas, what it is, it’s anything from an inconvenience to terrifying, depending on where you’re at.
When you go down into deep South Texas, a lot of the ranches are now abandoned. The people who own those lands can no longer utilize them because of the cartel presence on their ranches. If they are there, they can’t leave their houses without leaving somebody behind armed. They’re getting carjacked at their gates on their own properties.
Where we’re at, we have a lot of absentee landowners, and that’s property where nobody actually lives on the land. And so, what’s happening is the cartel is coming in, and they will set up stash sites on those ranches where nobody is at, where they’ll either strip vehicles, stage stolen vehicles.
They’ll hide illegal aliens while they’re going to gas up or whatnot, or somebody will bring them up from Mexico to where we’re at. Then, somebody comes from Houston to pick them up and then take them the rest of the way.
And so, that’s what we’re looking at.
Bluey: So much of the time we talk about the border crisis as being a federal issue. You, obviously, being in local law enforcement are seeing it firsthand. What frustration do you have with the politicians in Washington or the Biden administration and their failure to address some of the problems you just outlined for us?
Boyd: I think the problem is that we find that the federal government has absolutely no will, or at least the politicians have no will, to do anything about this problem.
Your average Border Patrol agent, Homeland Security agent, wants to do something, but the Biden administration has worked extremely hard to tie their hands and prevent them from doing the jobs that they’ve been sworn to do. And it makes it extremely frustrating.
So, what we’re doing is we find alternatives in order to accomplish those goals.
Bluey: You have talked about how working under [Texas Gov. Greg] Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, you have taken steps to combat and try to repel this invasion that’s happening in our country. You are about three hours from the Mexican border. What are some of the steps that you’ve been able to do with the governor’s support in order to help address this border crisis?
Boyd: Well, I met with the governor last year with a handful of other sheriffs. I’ve met with the state House of Representatives and state Senate. We sat down, worked on some different strategies.
Thank God Gov. Abbott, through his leadership, was able to acquire money that came to local law enforcement agencies to give us the capacity to go after the cartel activities within our jurisdictions, because most of us only have one to two deputies working in our entire county at any given time. Just don’t have the manpower, the resources to combat something like the cartel coming in.
So, thanks to the governor, we’re able to hire some individuals, some officers, that all their job is is to go out and combat transnational criminal activity within our jurisdictions.
So, what we’ve done is we took that funding that the governor’s office gave us and reached out to other law enforcement agencies. And right now, there’s 16 of us who have come together to try to put pressure on the cartel to get them out of our region.
Bluey: You talk about the cartel. I feel like, as somebody who’s not in Texas and maybe not seeing it firsthand, I don’t have a full appreciation. Can you go into detail in terms of just how vast their network is and how difficult it is to repel them from your community?
Boyd: Well, the first thing you have to understand is down in Mexico, the cartels operate what’s called the “plaza system.” And what the plaza is historically, it’s the center square in town, but as far as the cartels are concerned and the Mexican government is concerned, it’s a territory. And the Mexican government leases territory to different warlords, which are now the cartels, to operate within those areas. They’ve now replicated that system here.
Now, they’re not paying the government for the use of those territories, but what the cartel has done is they’ve come into Texas, they’ve come into other states, and they have claimed territory.
And what they did then was they turned all of our main prison gangs, like Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, Aryan Brotherhood, those people are now mere contractors to the cartel. The cartel runs these territories with an iron fist. And if you don’t conduct business the way that they authorize, well, then you disappear, and we never see you again.
So, the cartel has come in and done that. They’ve also bought up and established what you would think are legitimate businesses within our communities. And they use this not only to move slaves through, but also move drugs through, but also to launder their money. So, they put their money into the system and deposit it in the bank, and at that point, they can use that money for whatever they want.
Bluey: I imagine that one of the consequences is the increased distribution of fentanyl, human trafficking. Are these things that you yourself are seeing in your county?
Boyd: Yeah. We’ve had a rash of fentanyl exposures within our region over the last couple of months. Sen. [John] Cornyn had provided everybody within our region with the antidote for fentanyl, the Narcan. Now that those have begun to expire, our contacts at Texas Department of Public Safety stepped in and asked us if we needed some and re-upped all of the agencies in the area because we have had a lot of fentanyl exposures as of late.
We have a lot of human trafficking that goes through. Everybody wants to think that this is an immigration problem, but in reality, these people aren’t immigrants. They’re slaves. They’re brought out of their countries. The cartel moves them through Mexico, pays off the Mexican government as they go. They get here. They push them across.
Some of them, they turn over to Border Patrol or tell them to turn yourselves over. The vast majority, they don’t do that to. They sneak them into the state, into the United States, and then they smuggle them through various means, getting them deeper into the U.S.
Those individuals are indentured servants here in the United States. Most of them, when we interview them, we find out that they believed when they got to the Mexico-Texas border, that they were paid up and could come across. However, once they get brought across, they’re now told they owe more money.
And I actually have a letter from a house where they were keeping sex slaves in another jurisdiction, where they articulate it takes eight to 13 years to buy your freedom once you’re brought into the United States. That’s if nobody turns around and sells you because you’re just property while you’re here.
Bluey: It’s just heartbreaking to hear that. You spoke earlier about the fear that landowners in your county face. What do you hear from some of them, and what have their actions or response been to the increased presence of the cartel?
Boyd: Well, what our folks have done is they’re spending more time roaming around, checking the brush, looking for activity on their places, but they can’t be everywhere. And we have a lot of absentee landowners. We have land trusts. We have different things like that, entities that aren’t even in our county that own land within our county.
And so, what we’ve done is we’ve tried to educate people to be more vigilant and look for activity, look for places where activity might take place. And they’ve been doing that. But what we see is we see a lot more people who are concerned, and they’re now carrying firearms for their own protection.
Bluey: Are there steps that we can take as a country to hold Mexico accountable for what’s happening?
Boyd: Yes, most definitely. The only way to fix this is not on this side of the river. Because once a foreigner gets on this side of the river and becomes an illegal alien, then our government is there to welcome them in, give them their visa gift card, give them their free voucher for the bus or the plane ride, wherever it is the cartel wants them to go, because that’s really what’s happening. The government is becoming the last logistical leg on the cartel slave trade.
So, the only way to solve this is to bring Mexico to their knees economically. The No. 1 expense of the cartels, and they have publicly complained about this for years in Mexico, is paying off all of the government officials in Mexico.
Mexico is a system that is set up with graft and corruption. The cartels have to pay them off at a hefty amount every single month. So, the officials in Mexico are making a lot of money off this.
The only way to make them stop this partnership with the cartel is to create enough economic pain from the loss of legitimate revenue that it finally outweighs their gain from their illegitimate revenue that they gain from their partnership with the cartels.
Bluey: Do you think this administration has the stomach to do that?
Boyd: No. I think what this administration is doing is exactly what this administration wants. This is a direct result of our government wanting this to take place. Because if they didn’t want it to take place, you could fix it in a matter of a month, but they don’t want to fix it because this is what they want happening.
Bluey: And why do you think that is, though? I mean, we suspect that there is maybe a political advantage they see in the effect of bringing in so many illegal immigrants to this country. Obviously, they deny things like that. But in your own estimation, having seen it yourself up close, why are they refusing to take the steps which I think to many Americans seem like common sense?
Boyd: Yeah. It’s common sense if you want to remain a free country. To be quite honest with you, it would be a very long conversation about all the little nuances that go on into it. But as my friends in the field side and in the supervisory side of the federal government tell me, this is happening so that we can make a transition from a free republic to a Marxist style of government.
And so, why would you want to stop it if what you want is Marxism and what you want is a ruling class in peons? Why would you want to bring it to an end while you’re importing more and more people into the slave trade, which basically creates a peon class within our society?
Bluey: Have you ever seen it as bad as it is today in your time working in law enforcement?
Boyd: No. I’ve been dealing with, I think the first border op that I ever wrote was in 2009 down in Brooks County. And I’ve never seen anything like this.
We thought it was bad then, when we were finding the pamphlets that the Obama administration was having handed out in Mexico on how to get here and all the advertising on the radio in Mexico convincing people to come here illegally. We thought that was bad, but that’s nothing compared to this.
I mean, this is just a tidal wave of people coming across. It is an invasion. There’s no two ways about it. When you, as a taxpayer in the state of Texas, can’t utilize your own property because of the massive wave of people, it is an invasion, and that’s exactly what it is.
Bluey: Do you think that the numbers that the Department of Homeland Security puts out for apprehensions are an accurate reflection of the number of people who are actually crossing the border?
Boyd: No, no. Not by any means. From Oct. 1 until today, I think there were 300 … I’m sorry, that was just Rio Grande Valley. From Oct. 1 to today, all across the border, excluding California, was just under 1.3 million apprehensions.
Border Patrol tells me they estimate they apprehend 8% to 10% of the people that come across. You hear people talk about “got-aways.” There’s supposed to be 800,000 got-aways. Well, in order to be a got-away, Border Patrol either has to see them, Border Patrol has to see physical evidence like a footprint or something, that they escaped without being apprehended.
Well, there’s a lot more coming across because there’s entire sections where nobody is patrolling. There are days in the Rio Grande Valley sector, which is a large sector, that there’s not one Border Patrol agent actually out working the border. Nobody’s looking for got-aways. So, you can imagine how many more there are when on some days, there’s nobody looking for [them].
I talked to a Border Patrol agent a couple weeks ago, and he told me that they got told to quit reporting their got-aways, that he’s being told, “Hmm, don’t count those.” And the logic was, “Well, they may be counted somewhere else, so just don’t count them anymore.” And so, it just doesn’t make sense, unless you understand that this is all by design.
Bluey: And what is the reason that the Border Patrol doesn’t necessarily have a presence at all times?
Boyd: Because the administration has moved Border Patrol from being the Border Patrol to taking them in and making them process these individuals so that they can get them into the United States.
Historically, what happens is, if you’re apprehended and you’re not going to be deported, you’re given what’s called a notice to appear. That notice to appear has that you have to appear on this date, at this time, at this court, at this address.
Well, now they’re handing them notice to appear—there’s no date, there’s no time, there’s no court, and there’s no address. But as long as they have that piece of paper, whether it’s filled out properly or not, no federal agent can touch them for immigration violation.
So, they’re letting these people in and telling the media and the public, “Oh, they have a notice to appear.” But in reality, it’s an incomplete notice to appear that just gives them carte blanche to break federal law.
And so, the other thing you have to consider is what they’ve looked at this year is the people that they have deported. Depending on the sector you’re in, between 40% and 80% of those people then reenter and are encountered a second time or a third or a fourth.
We in Goliad have apprehended people in bailouts that this is their third, fourth time to be caught. So, like I said, this really showed us the fact that it’s just a revolving door.
We just started filing state charges on everybody because the federal system is broke. They’re not going to do anything about it because this is what they want, so we’re just going to take care of it on the state side.
Bluey: Sheriff, you spent over two decades in law enforcement. What inspired you to first get involved? And given the challenges you’re facing today, what keeps you going every day?
Boyd: Well, I got into this just, I guess, by chance. I had a neighbor who got into law enforcement and I started riding with him, and I thought, “This is a good, fulfilling job. I would really like this. This is something that I could make a career out of. I could make a difference, and I can go out and do something.” It’s changed drastically over that time.
To be quite honest with you, when I first became a cop in 1994, Border Patrol had an incentive where they would bring us a box of bullets for every illegal alien we apprehended. And they would come pick them up sometimes 20, 23 and shove them in a suburban, but they’d bring us ammo, a box of ammo, for every illegal alien you captured and turned over to them.
Talk about a drastic change.
The whole thing is, in the end, we’re all going to be judged, not by the people, not by anything, we’re going to be judged by our lord and maker. We’re going to have to answer for what we did. And while I may not be able to fix it, and I may not be able to bring it to an end, I’m going to do my part so that when I get to the pearly gates, at least when I get asked, they’ll know I did something.
Bluey: Well, Sheriff Roy Boyd, thank you for your service. Thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for also explaining the issue articulately for our listeners. I think it’s very helpful to hear from somebody who’s on the front lines dealing with this on a daily basis. We appreciate what you’re doing.
Boyd: Well, we’re just having fun.
Bluey: That was Sheriff Roy Boyd of Goliad County in Texas. Thank you, again, for being with The Daily Signal.
Boyd: Thank you.
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