Victoria County judge issues a disaster declaration in response to increased activity at the border

VICTORIA, Texas – Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller has issued a disaster declaration in response to the increased activity at the border.

  • On May 3, 2021, Victoria County commissioners approved a resolution seeking reimbursement for expenses related to, “the Biden administration’s ‘Open Border Policy.'”
  • On May 31, 2021, commissioners approved a proclamation certifying the ongoing surge of human trafficking overflowing in Victoria County and surrounding areas.

Recently commissioners approved a new role at the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office to help coordinate human trafficking and bailout cases with federal agents.

With the issuance of the disaster declaration, the county stands poised to be reimbursed by state or federal dollars for the creation of this role.

“Due to the worsening on the southern border, it’s more obvious there’s no help coming from the federal government… in fact, they are making it worse,” Zeller said in county commissioners’ court Monday. “While we’re not seeing any assistance, this last Friday the governor signed House Bill 9, which appropriates… a significant amount of money for grants.”

Zeller said he is thankful to the state for stepping up to cover expenses related to the increased number of human trafficking bailouts in the area.

The judge said the images of thousands of Haitians at the border make this need more immediate.

The judge cited the unanticipated cost of mitigating the effects of the president’s border policies as further reason to issue the disaster declaration.