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On Thursday, July 24, 2014, Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia participated in hearing concerning the study of Human Trafficking along the Texas border. The joint interim committee hearing was hosted by State Representative Oscar Longoria, District 35 in La Joya, TX. This was the first time the committee held a human trafficking hearing in the Rio Grande Valley.
The committee includes Reps. Oscar Longoria, Thompson Todd Hunter, Debbie Riddle, Roberto Alonzo, Joe Moody, Tan Parker, James White, Toni Rose, Paul Workman, and Allen Fletcher. Senators on the committee include Joan Huffman, Brian Birdwell, Donna Campbell, Craig Estes, Jane Nelson, Leticia Van de Putte, and John Whitmire.
The committee's goal was to hear testimony from local leaders and state lawmakers on how they can work to develop tough legislation to quell human trafficking and provide services for the victims. Judge Garcia spoke on Governor Rick Perry's decision to send the National Guard to the border. He disagrees with this decision and instead suggested the state hire civilian processors to help the immigrants who come across, as he stated, once they cross the Rio Grande they are on U.S. soil and must be provided with the services they are entitled to under the law.
Click the video to view Judge Ramon Garcia's testimony.