ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – United States Congressman Jodey Arrington hosted a national security news conference at the Community Foundation of Abilene on Thursday, August 24.

Sheriffs from Taylor, Shackelford, Nolan, Mitchell, and Haskell counties joined him as he spoke about the security crisis at the Texas border. Several also spoke about the illegal drug issues in their respective counties, including Shackelford County Sheriff Ed Miller.

“Every time we encounter an undocumented or illegal individual, 99% of the time, they’re either carrying methamphetamine or cocaine. We had no issues with cocaine in our county until the last couple of years, and now we have large and small quantities that are coming through,” said Miller.

Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop added, “The drug cartels are in Abilene.”

As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Arrington offered his suggestion for securing the border.

“We have to use the power of the purse to get their attention and to move the needle in the direction of security, but we also don’t need to wait as a state,” Arrington shared.

The District 19 Congressman stressed the state’s constitutional right to defend the border.

“The states have the sovereign right of self-defense. The words are that when there is imminent danger, such that will not permit delay, the states have the right to secure the border, enforce the laws, and protect their citizens,” explained Arrington.

Sheriff Bishop publicly thanked Arrington for what he has done to advocate for the safety of West Texans.

“We definitely appreciate you listening to the issues that we’re having, and hopefully, in a couple of years, things will change and we’ll start winning this battle again,” said Bishop.

Arrington was also joined by representatives from the Abilene Military Affairs committee to discuss the House-passed ‘National Defense Authorization Act,’ which includes several provisions to support Dyess Air Force Base.