Our Mayor Salinas gets the microphone (at 5:23 of the video) at the Border and Maritime Security subcommittee:
Congressman Henry Cuellar quotes the description as:
On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security held a hearing entitled “Securing our Borders — Operational Control and the Path Forward,” with Mayor of Laredo Raul Salinas
The city had sent out a press release letting us know the Mayor Salinas was going North to fight the good fight – whatever that might mean:
He repeated what we know here – we have had 8 homicides (I am assuming last year) almost all solved, the crime rate is down, there has been a 20% decrease in stolen cars going South and 30% increase in violent crime. I keep saying, I feel safer in Laredo than I do in other places I have lived, EVEN THOUGH I might hear the gunfire and grenades exploding across the border in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas will travel to Washington, D.C. this week to deliver testimony before the U.S. House Homeland Security Borders & Ports Subcommittee, a committee on which Congressman Henry Cuellar is the senior Democrat. On Tuesday, Mayor Salinas will testify that Laredo fully supports secure borders, because homeland security to the nation has always been hometown security to Laredo. Salinas will point out, however, that securing our borders must be done in a manner that does not close them to trade and community, of which Laredo, as the nation’s largest inland port, understands best how to secure and remain trade-friendly. Additionally, the United States owes its own border communities its best efforts to protect its citizens from the violence that is devastating the nation’s southern neighbor. By securing our border, the U.S. will also stop the flow of illegal guns, cash and stolen cars into Mexico, supporting that country’s efforts to end the drug war.
By way of illustrating the need for a continued commitment to trade, Mayor Salinas will share with the committee that “Laredo’s bridges handle just over 11,000 truck trips a day, a number that is down from 13,000 trips a day just two short years ago. While many in the nation eagerly await the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s return to 13,000 – I think the better barometer for economic recovery is when Laredo bridges are again serving 13,000 trucks,” his testimony reads.
Mayor Salinas will also call on Congress to reconfigure homeland security funding in these days of budget cuts to address threats. He will state: “Homeland security should compensate local communities that are providing protection and service to the nation.”
The mayor will close his testimony with a reminder to Congress “….that while ‘Mi casa es su casa’ is a traditional Mexican cultural greeting used in Laredo, it is equally important for Congress to respect that the nation’s border is our home.”
His focus in his very short speech in the video was on decreasing the trafficking of guns and other stuff that goes into Mexico. Makes sense – all kinds of things go back and forth at the international border without necessarily affecting what happens in the residential areas of Laredo. Of course… that doesn’t mean there aren’t connections with some Laredoans to the cartel crime. Have we forgotten La Barbie that many went to school with or knew personally? There are several others out there but… they are still waiting to be caught.