The Texas Border Counties of Kinney and Uvalde, along with the City of Uvalde, finally have the Texas Department of Emergency Management’s (TDEM) attention. They held their first coordination meeting with the agency October 21, 2021. The Chief of the Department, Nim Kidd, had committed to attend the meeting, but ended up failing to show. This left the Region 3 Assistant Chief, Tony Pena, in the hot seat to answer for the ten months of bureaucratic paperwork that has left the local border communities largely on their own fighting the illegal invasion on our southern border.
TDEM has been given nearly $2 billion to support the local efforts working to secure our border, but this has not reached the critical areas of impact represented by the three local governments. This is one reason the local governments came together last August and formed a Planning Commission using Texas Local Government Code 391.
Each member of the Commission spelled out the crisis their communities and departments are facing every day: lack of jail space forcing them to release felons back into the community; diverting emergency services away from local citizens; locking down the school system 48 times in the spring season alone because of illegal bailouts (jumping from vehicles) within the city limits; landowners with over $100,000 of property damage; and the extraordinary expenses to feed, medically treat and process the detained illegals.
Additionally, Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe informed TDEM’s Assistant Chief he had been notified by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) they would remove their help from the County if the Sheriff didn’t take steps to prevent the militia from helping private landowners protect their land. The Sheriff made clear the DPS threat was inappropriate and would further harm the citizens of his County he was sworn to protect.
By the end of the two-hour session, the Assistant Chief agreed to return in three weeks with answers. The Commission made clear they were not asking for continued discussion, but actual help as required by the 391 Local Government Code. What their community needs is a holding facility to detain illegals in the City of Uvalde, reimbursement for millions in expenses they have been providing illegal immigrants at the State’s request, and deputized boots on the ground under the direction of the County Sheriff to defend the border abandoned by the Biden Administration.
The next day, Chairman of the Commission and Uvalde City Mayor Don McLaughlin received a call from the TDEM Chief directly. Chief Nim Kidd apologized for not making the meeting and pledged his help to finalize grant requests the communities have submitted to his agency. The two have had several follow-up conversations since.
The next meeting is set for November 15th, again in the City of Uvalde. It will be open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend. TDEM has been fully apprised and noticed of the extraordinary challenges facing these communities. For the sake of our nation, TDEM must come ready to deliver the resources these communities need.
Special thanks to the members of American Stewards of Liberty. It has been your support of our work that has made it possible for us to help get this Commission functioning and guide these valiant front-line elected leaders as they coordinate these issues with the State.