Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) offered an amendment today to H.R. 6028, the Merida Initiative to Combat Illicit Narcotics and Reduce Organized Crime Authorization Act of 2008, to reduce funding to Mexico by half and re-direct that funding to state and local law enforcement along the United States border.

Our border sheriffs are desperately understaffed and outgunned, said Poe. It makes no sense to me to send over a billion dollars of US taxpayer money in the form of US military equipment and training to Mexico when we need it right here on our own border. When are we going to stop securing the borders of other countries and take care of our own?

The Merida Initiative is a $1.11 billion program designed to help Mexico and Central American countries fight organized crime and drug- trafficking. The Poe Amendment would require that half of the funding appropriated for this program will stay in the United States.

It is an undeniable fact that Mexico has a long history of corruption, continued Poe. Past agreements with Mexico to fight drug trafficking in their country have proven disastrous. Many members of the notorious Zetas were Mexican military trained by the US military in our own country.

As a former judge that was known for being tough on crime, I fully support the efforts by both countries to fight drug trafficking. But, I cannot allow US taxpayer money to head south of the border and put the law enforcement needs of another country before those of our own.

Poe Amendment to HR 6028:

  • Reduces funding to Mexico by half, reallocating the remainder of funding to the state and local law enforcement agencies in US border states and localities for fiscal years 2008 2010.
  • Authorizes the Attorney General to provide grants to law enforcement agencies of States and localities located on the United States-Mexico border for the purpose of combating illicit narcotics trafficking and human and weapons trafficking activities at or near the United States-Mexico border.

Congressman Poe serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Member of the Congressional Border Security Caucus. Poe frequently travels to the US-Mexico border and has been a leading advocate in Congress to secure our borders and fully fund our border sheriffs and local law enforcement.