McAllen, Texas Mayor-Elect Javier Villalobos Talks Election, Baseball, Immigration, and Border Policy

McAllen, Texas Mayor-Elect Javier Villalobos Talks Election, Baseball, Immigration, and Border Policy

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Republican Mayor-elect Javier Villalobos of McAllen, Texas to the newsmakers line to discuss his background, border policy, and taking on federal immigration burdens in his community.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our newsmaker line, the Mayor-elect of McAllen, Texas, Javier Villalobos. Welcome, Mr. Villalobos.

Villalobos: Hi. Good morning. And thank you very much for the invite.

Leahy: It has been a busy week for you, hasn’t it?

Villalobos: You know what? It’s been incredibly hectic, but in a wonderful way, though.

Leahy: So you were elected mayor of McAllen, Texas. It’s a very growing border city in the southeastern corner of Texas. Right across the border is Reynosa, Mexico. I’ve been to McCallen. It’s a great place. What’s the population of McCallen?

Villalobos: The population is about 150,000 right now.

Leahy: That’s a pretty big city.

Villalobos: It is considering, of course, when you take everything into consideration, the rest of the states, of course, everything is pretty much together have a population of close to about a million.

Leahy: What struck me about McCallen when I was there, which was about 10 years ago, a lot of new construction, a lot of sort of export-import business. And people there really seem to be growing businesses.

It’s still a thriving community, except for the past six or seven months have been a problem, haven’t they?

Villalobos: Well, you know what? It has been economically. You really should come to visit it again. After 10 years, we wouldn’t even recognize it. But, yes, of course, we’ve had some different issues. I think I know exactly what you’re talking about.

Six months ago, it was a little bit better. We are about 13 miles away from the border. And, of course, we’re having a few issues right now at any given time. McCallen has two international bridges.

Hidalgo-Reynosa and Anzalduas and at any given point we have hundreds, and I’m talking about hundreds of immigrants, which are transported, really to McAllen. Fortunately, we always say, look, immigration is not a municipal issue.

It’s a federal issue. But we’re kind of tied up. Border Patrol comes and they bring usually hundreds a day. We help process, even though we shouldn’t have to, but we do it for purposes of public safety.

Leahy: Yes, for safety.

Villalobos: To make sure the immigrants are ok. Yes, definitely. Because the Border Patrol comes, drops them off near the bus station. Unless we do something, we don’t know what’s going to happen or where they can be.

I’m not talking to whether pro or against the immigrants. However, we make sure that we take care of business, even though it’s not our responsibility. We keep on talking about it and asking the federal government, the president, Congress, Senate, to take care of the business.

It’s not our responsibility. Our taxpayers should not be burdening or have any responsibility for the issue. And it does. After a while, it becomes very burdensome.

Leahy: You said something there that kind of surprised me. Let me see if I understand this correctly. You said that the Border Patrol takes, I guess, is illegal aliens or who people have crossed the border illegally in buses and they take them in downtown McAllen and then just let him go. Did I get that right?

Villalobos: Fortunately, we have an organization that assists. Not a municipal organization. It’s a nonprofit that will assist and at least logistically keep assisting them until they are prepared to go to wherever they’re going to be going. And logistically, we assist the city assistant in transporting them to the bus station, to the airport, wherever we can. And that’s about it.

That is about it. I think the city has been doing a great job with a nonprofit where even though it’s not our responsibility, we keep on doing whatever we can for the purposes of maintaining peace and public safety and making sure that everybody is taken care of. Especially our residents.

Leahy: What is the nonprofit down there that helps process these I guess illegal aliens dropped off at the bus station by the Border Patrol?

Villalobos: They have been helpful. It’s a Catholic charity called the Respite Center here in downtown McAllen, and they have actually been assisting quite a bit. Without them, I don’t know what the city would do.

Leahy: Has the flow of illegal immigrants dropped off in downtown McAllen by the Border Patrol increased over the past year or so?

Villalobos: Of course. I think we all know probably about six months ago or five months ago they changed the federal policy and things became very different. I would venture to say it was a lot more comfortable five or six months ago.

So it has been different. Unfortunately, this is not the first time it occurred. Several years ago, the city spent close to about a million dollars. It’s different now. We’re not spending as much.

But regardless of whether it’s a million, whether it’s $10,000 or $5,000 it is not a municipal responsibility, and we shouldn’t be burdened. That’s our position.

Leahy: Tell us a little bit about your background.

Villalobos: Oh, certainly. I’ve been here in McAllen for 26 years and I’m originally from here. Actually, not a son of immigrants, but a son of migrants. So I’ve been around. I was a Republican chairman 10 years ago, which surprises a lot of people knowing my background or where I come from.

I ran for office and became commissioner. And then, surprisingly, to a lot of people, I ran for Mayor and against all odds as some people say. Because even though it’s a non-partisan race, everybody here votes Republican, Democrat, or Independent.

Everybody knew I was a former Republican chairman, and fortunately, I was elected. It was a close one. It was a very close one, but I was elected.

Leahy: Now, what do you do for a living, Javier?

Villalobos: Mostly the main business is that I’m a lawyer.

Leahy: You’re an attorney?

Villalobos: Yes, sir. What area of law do you specialize in?

Villalobos: Pretty much a lot of governmental work representing cities, schools, housing authorities, economic development, and corporations. But I like to dabble in trial work also, some of the criminal and litigation.

Leahy: So how did you personally decide to become an attorney?

Villalobos: As I said, I’m not from there. I’m from Crystal City, a small little place about 250 miles from here. I remember coming from a barrio. And that is the truth. But I played baseball.

And I remember one of the coaches, he was a lawyer, and I always looked up to him and I thought maybe one day. Of course, I didn’t think so because we were from the barrio.  But you know what it was?

I always say education is a great equalizer, and I really believe in that. And that’s what happened. That’s how we did it.

Leahy: So Crystal City is a barrio in El Paso? Where is Crystal City?

Villalobos: No, it’s about 250 miles North West of San Antonio, but it’s a small little place, a population of about 8,000 people back when I was a kid and still the same.

Leahy: So you’re a baseball guy? Did you grow up playing baseball as a kid?

Villalobos: (Laughs) And I love it. Still coaching. My kid doesn’t like to play with me anymore because he’s a senior in high school. So we started another team again with T-Ballers. So here we go again.

Leahy: I’m a big baseball fan. I love playing it. I was in high school. I was probably I was a good field no-hit guy right infielder. I hit about 240 s you can see why I didn’t make it past high school playing baseball. What position did you play?

Villalobos: I used to play second base and outfield.

Leahy: I was a second basement and a third baseman, too, so it was kind of fun. Who’s your team now?

Villalobos: Even when my kids were little. Now, if you’re talking about our local team, we’re called the Villalobos. Of course, I got The Lobos.

Leahy: There you go.

Villalobos: Once again, brand new kids because our kids grew up and they don’t want to hang out with dad anymore. So we got a new batch of kids. (Leahy laughs) Let’s see what we can do with them.

Leahy: Let’s talk a little bit about baseball for a minute in youth development. When I was a kid, many years ago, in the summer, I lived on a hill and there was a valley. I would ride my bike down the playground and people would be there.

And we would just play pick-up baseball. I did it every day. Today, it seems a lot harder for kids to play baseball.

Villalobos: It’s totally different nowadays for kids. I did exactly the same back then. You just get a bunch of kids and there’s an empty lot and here we go. Let’s play ball. It’s a little bit different nowadays.

But now the ones that are organized, there’s baseball all year round now. And if it’s organized, I mean, that’s a beautiful thing. The issue we have a lot of the times not just here, McAllen but everywhere is finding spaces for practice.

Leahy: Exactly. Hey, hold on to that thought. The Mayor-elect Javier Villalobos. I want to talk about baseball. I want to talk about immigration. And I want to talk about border policy.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Javier Villalobos” by Javier Villalobos Campaign. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rep. Jerry Sexton Responds to Biden Administration Immigration Law Fails and the State Legislature Role K12 Curriculum

Rep. Jerry Sexton Responds to Biden Administration Immigration Law Fails and the State Legislature Role K12 Curriculum

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed TN. (R) State Representative Jerry Sexton in studio to weigh in on Biden border policy and immigration failures and the Tennessee General Assembly’s role in K12 public education curriculum.

(Arizona Congressman (R) Andy Biggs clip plays)

Leahy: That’s Congressman Andy Biggs from Arizona talking about the Biden mal-administration’s failure to enforce our immigration laws. What’s happening at the border is illegal aliens are crossing in record numbers. They’re not being tested for COVID. They’re not being detained. They are being put on buses and planes and sent all around the country, including to places like Tennessee it appears.

In studio with us State Representative Jerry Sexton. Jerry, when you hear Congressman Biggs describe the reality on the border of that, you look here at Tennessee apparently, some of these illegal aliens, many of them not tested for COVID. Many of them carrying COVID are headed to Tennessee. What’s your response to that, Jerry?

Sexton: Well, it’s obvious we have certain values and certain laws and those laws are being skirted with immigration. We are a country of immigrants, and it’s called the melting pot. The problem is we’re not melting anymore. We’re trying to change the values of this country.

Leahy: Balkanizing the country.

Sexton: Yes, that’s exactly right. And when you’ve got immigrants, we could make them a way for people to come legally. But what they’re doing is they’re getting these people to beholden to them as if they’re giving them something. And unfortunately, it’s happening in Tennessee. And we’re not making our politicians pay for their votes and their policies.

It’s time that we, as Tennesseeans, decide whether we’re going to continue to put up with these types of policies, or do we know exactly what the voting record is of our state Senator, of our governor, of any politician? Do we know what their voting record is? We better stop listening to the rhetoric and see what actually they’re doing now.

Leahy: I have not seen any confirmed reports that these illegal aliens have surged across the border and have been placed in Tennessee. I have seen many confirmed reports that illegal aliens at the border are not being detained and are being sent around the country. It would stand a reason that there are 50 States and they’re probably being sent to Tennessee is one of those States.

There was an unconfirmed report down in Chattanooga. I don’t know if you saw that which said that said, apparently an organization called the Baptiste Group, there was a report, unconfirmed, was housing illegal aliens who had just crossed the border. And then there was, I think, a local Chattanooga message from their school board saying, just a reminder that by law, we are required to educate everybody that comes here.

And there’s a Supreme Court ruling on this that illegal alien children must be educated in K12 public schools. And so I don’t know. There have been no confirmed reports, but it would very much surprise me if there aren’t right now today in Tennessee, illegal aliens who have crossed the border illegally since the inauguration of Joe Biden, who are sitting here right now, many of them poised to go to public schools.

Sexton: Let me ask you something. What if every immigrant that came to America said that they had to listen to your program? And I’m in the furniture manufacturing business and these same people had to buy my product? Now, that would be a pretty good boom for us, would it not?

Leahy: Oh, yeah.

Sexton: So our education system, they get so much money per student. So what we’re doing is we’re filling up the classrooms with money because every head represents so much money for those schools. And it’s time that we tear apart these organizations that are funneling all this money and everything else. We should be teaching our people. We should be giving them an education.

Leahy: You mean on things like the Constitution of America? (Laughs)

Sexton: Oh, my gosh. Isn’t it amazing how we don’t know the Constitution and we don’t teach those things?

Leahy: Well, funny, you bring that up. Have you seen in our book Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students? I think maybe this is the first time I’ve shared that with you.

Sexton: I think it is.

Leahy: And I’ll just talk to you a little bit about this. In October, it will be our fifth year of doing the National Constitution Bee here in Tennessee. And it is for students grades eight through 12. They get a copy of this book. And then we do a Constitution Bee like a Spelling Bee or Geography Bee. And we end up with three winners and the first place winner gets a $10,000. educational scholarship, second place, $5,000, and third place $2,500. It’s a lot of fun.

Sexton: Wow.

Leahy: I will tell you this, though, and we make this book available as a supplementary text to K12 public schools in Tennessee. Really, only one school system in the state has even expressed any interest in it. We’ve got one school system using it as a supplementary text in one course. But most of the other K12 public schools have no interest in learning about this particular supplementary text on the Constitution. Nor do they have much interest in sending their kids to have this opportunity for educational scholarships. That’s our experience with the K12 public schools in Tennessee.

Sexton: What they are teaching them is completely different from the values of America. I was in a public school and I attend some schools occasionally and in one of the classrooms I took some pictures and I’ve tried to take videos of it, but there was on the board they were teaching about Christmas in Mexico, not Christmas in America.

Leahy: Christmas in Mexico.

Sexton: Christmas in Mexico.

Leahy: Because that’s what young kids in Tennessee need to learn about. Christmas in Mexico.

Sexton: I tell organizations all the time when they talk about these diversity and inclusion programs. First of all, say it should be done away with because I say it’s not real. If I want to bring my Bible and I want to come into your organization, am I welcome? Can I have Bible study? Can I have Sunday school? No, just on the face itself it’s not real. The first book that was approved by Congress, and I’m sorry, they don’t have the year 17 something but it was the Aitken Bible. It was the first Bible printed in America and approved by Congress.

Leahy: I think that was actually like 1784 during the Confederation Congress.

Sexton: I think so. Yes. And we are when I say we, the American Bible Society, is going to put Bibles in every school to be taught. From this historical standpoint, it has all of the documents. I’ve seen the Bible’s already being printed. And we’re excited that we can put those in schools because we do have a policy, a law, state law that says that you can have these.

But as you said, Michael, people are afraid. They’re afraid to stand up for what is our right in America. And until we start standing for those rights that we have and those values like the Second Amendment, like freedom of speech, like the right to keep and bare arms, until we start standing up for those, we’re going to continue to lose them. I, for one, will not bow to the left and their tactics.

Leahy: Yeah, that’s, I think, very important. But I want to follow up with this. Isn’t it the state legislature that plays a critical role in establishing the curriculum?

Sexton: Of course it is.

Leahy: That is taught in K12 public schools?

Sexton: Of course it is. Now let me give a high five to some of my colleagues in the Education Department. I know several of them that are fighting extremely hard to try to get these policies in our schools. Believe me, you’ve got a lot of Tennessee legislators that believe in the values that made this country great. They’re wanting to get those things taught in our school rooms. They’re fighting for it all the time.

We have to push back against these big unions. And I don’t want my Republican friends that don’t understand that every time we give in to these public schools and this leftist idea that they’re taking that money and trying to defeat Republicans and conservative values. Why do we continue to do that? I tell my friends all the time in the legislature that I am a rural representative and the school systems in my area are the largest employers.

And we cannot be afraid of them. We have to embrace them. I support our teachers. They have to teach what they’re mandated. But our parents also want to have a diversity of education. I support that. And I get elected every time because I support our parents, our teachers and the public school system is failing us as it is.

Listen to the full first hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio