Researchers at the Business and Tourism Research Center at The University of Texas-Pan American are looking for community input on the recent events in the Rio Grande Valley. This past summer, hundreds of security forces, including up to 1,000 National Guard troops and hundreds of additional state troopers, were sent to the Valley in response to the dramatic increase in the number of undocumented immigrants, especially children, to the U.S and to deter human and drug trafficking.
The mission of the National Guard is to maintain a visible presence in the area to deter human and drug trafficking operations in support of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Steve McCraw, state DPS director, last week said currently National Guard troops man observation posts and call in potential illegal activity they spot to state troopers.
The UTPA Business and Tourism Research Center is seeking input from Winter Texans pertaining to the added security forces now stationed in the RGV, and related issues, such as border safety and illegal immigration.
The survey can be taken online at www.UTPA.edu/RGVSecurity. All responses to the study are anonymous. Results of the study are intended to provide RGV officials and state elected representatives with a better understanding of how the community – including Winter Texans – views the security forces, the new, undocumented immigrants and their effects on life in the RGV.