State Representative Bryan Slaton

The Hunt County Commissioners Court on Tuesday declared Hunt County to be under a state of disaster due to the potential ramifications of the influx of illegal immigrants from the Texas border with Mexico.

Texas House District 2 Rep. Bryan Slaton of Royse City urged the commissioners to approve the declaration, claiming the county faces an emergency due to the situation along the Rio Grande, which does not just impact the border counties.

“We are being invaded, and it is everyone’s problem,” Slaton said, adding that the cartels fueling the surge are not just in southern Texas but are spreading across the state and throughout the country.

“And whenever the counties run out of money along the border, who helps pay for that,” he asked. “You and me and the people of Hunt County.”

Slaton said that more than 1.2 million people cross the border from Mexico into Texas every two months.

“If you don’t think this is an invasion, we have a different definition of what an invasion is,” Slaton said, arguing that the levels of Fentanyl and other illegal drugs, as well as human trafficking. have risen in response to the influx.

County Judge Bobby Stovall has determined “extraordinary measures must be taken” to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens of the county due to an invasion of the country and “authorizes the use of all lawfully available resources and authority” granted under the constitutions of both Texas and the United States.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Phillip Martin raised some issues concerning the declaration, which is similar to versions of declarations already adopted by 43 other Texas counties. Approximately $250 million has been sent to 34 counties along the border to deal with the crisis.

“My question is, how much of this funding will be sent right here … if the state says we deserve it?” Martin asked. “Is it going to back up our law enforcement in reference to that?”

Slaton said the declaration is an effort to elicit action from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott in dealing with the problem.

“Once the governor declares this an invasion yes, he has lot of things at his capacity,” Slaton said. “It is the idea of him getting to deal with it as it is, and it is an invasion.”

Hunt County Sheriff Terry Jones offered his opinion, noting he welcomes anyone who comes to the area legally in search of a better life.

“But I am sick of the Fentanyl pills, I am sick of the drugs and I am sick of the illegal stuff that is coming in and how it is illegally brought in,” Jones said.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the declaration, which takes effect immediately and will be in force until such time as Stovall and/or the commissioners vote to remove it.

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