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A year after declaring invasion, Texas border judge issues warning to Americans

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Terrell County Judge Dale Carruthers was sworn into office on the same day as President Joe Biden.

Carruthers now says her life and the lives of her residents haven’t been the same since. A life-long Democrat, she switched parties to become a Republican last year after she was one of the first judges in Texas history to declare an invasion at the southern border and in her county on July 5, 2022.

One year later, she spoke to The Center Square in an exclusive interview about the impacts of what she says are President Joe Biden’s “open border policies” on her county.

“It’s been 2.5 years, from day one we’ve been at it,” she said. “If we didn’t have Operation Lone Star, we’d be in a world of hurt,” she said, referring to the border security mission Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched in March 2021.

Her county of slightly more than 700 residents is primarily impacted by crime committed by gotaways – the term U.S. Customs and Border Patrol uses for foreign nationals who illegally enter Texas from Mexico intentionally seeking to evade capture from Border Patrol and law enforcement officials.

“This is who is coming through, large groups” of mostly single military age men, she said. As family units arrive at ports of entry, she explained, cartel “runners, traffickers, and smugglers come through Terrell County.” Some are single women, she says, but they’re all wearing camouflage.

They’re trespassing, breaking and entering, stealing, “smuggling people, exploiting people, kidnapping children, selling women and men into slave trade,” she said. “If that doesn’t frighten you, nothing will.”

The gotaways are “carrying drugs the entire time,” she said. “The boys they kidnap are mules.”

Other crimes follow, she said, “after that, Americans start dying.”

“We warned you,” she says to the American people. “We weren’t crying wolf, we’re crying coyote,” referring to Mexican scouts who guide people into the U.S. illegally.

“We are telling you the Mexican cartels are here,” she said.

Under Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, increased numbers of Texas DPS troopers, Texas Rangers, game wardens, National Guardsmen and others are working with the county’s small sheriff’s office to interdict cartel-driven crime, she said. The gotaways are “evading the law, coming in for the wrong reason. There’s always a crime behind it,” she said, almost always involving human smuggling.

Multiple daily high speed pursuits in the small town of Sanderson, the county seat, have “became the norm,” she said. “That should not be the norm.”

On the morning she spoke to The Center Square, there were two high speed pursuits.

In a neighboring smaller town, a shop keeper is “living in fear,” she said, and sleeping in the shop to make sure no one breaks in. “They shouldn’t be living like this. It’s like that on a daily basis.”

Ranchers, who find backpacks on their property left by gotaways, are warned not to touch them “because it could have fentanyl on it and kill you,” she said.

Prior to declaring an invasion last year, she said, certain concepts weren’t a “part of our vocabulary.”

“You can’t replace your child,” she said, referring to the amount of fentanyl increasingly being brought in. “If they get past us, they’re already in your neighborhood,” she said, referring to the gotaways bringing in fentanyl and other drugs.

“Now fentanyl is everywhere. People think, ‘it won’t happen to me.’ I hope it never does but this year was worse than last year,” she said.

“The schools shouldn’t have to put up barricades” as a way to protect them from vehicle crashes from high-speed pursuits, she said. “No school should be on lockdown because of people illegally entering this country.”

“We are not going to sacrifice our children to this,” she added. “Why should any city in this entire United States?”

“We warned everyone a year ago and it’s only gotten worse. We can do everything in our power to inform you. We aren’t alarmists. We’re trying to let you know what we’re dealing with,” she said to the American people.

“They’re coming to your town,” she said, referring to criminal gotaways, “and your residents will be just as angry as my residents are.

“Don’t turn a blind eye. Don’t deny calling this an invasion. Any other country would call this an invasion. Declaring an invasion had to be done.”

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