"McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez testified that an increase in crime has not accompanied the wave of Central American immigrants. "As far as I can tell, our community has not been impacted in any way from a criminal activity standpoint," Rodriguez said. Which begs the question: If the immigrants are turning themselves in and crime is not increasing, what role would state troopers and national guardsmen play? State Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, represents hundreds of miles of the Texas-Mexico border — from the New Mexico state line to Big Bend National Park. He said McCraw's comments don't reflect the reality on the border, which is home to some of the safest cities in the United States. "They haven't provided any data, any numbers to support their claims," Rodríguez said Friday. "I'd like to see actual data. They make these statements without any supporting documentation." During the hearing about the immigration crisis, Darling, the mayor of McAllen, took pains to note that the crime rate in his city is lower than that in Austin. O'Rourke said the border has never been more secure. There is double the number of Border Patrol officers compared to a decade ago. And — even with the wave of migrants from Central America — the number of apprehensions on the Southwestern border for illegal crossings is down 200 percent since 1999, he said. "There's just no way to say with a straight face that this is a security issue," O'Rourke said of the current immigration crisis. "It sounds good and it works politically to play to people's fears. But it's not true." O'Rourke and Rodríguez said that by whipping up fears about border security and drug cartels, Texas Republican leaders are confusing the public about the nature of the crisis. "This is essentially a humanitarian crisis," Rodríguez said, adding that any state and federal resources should be dedicated to addressing that." - El Paso Times, July 20, 2014.