Tribal Leader Cancels Committee Testimony Over Cartel Threats

A shocking revelation came out of a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Montana this week that sought to explore Mexican drug cartels operating on Indian reservations when a leader from the Fort Belknap Indian Community told members that a tribal leader who had withdrawn from testifying did so as a result of cartel intimidation, noting that he had received death threats.

Tribal President Jeffrey Stiffarm explained to committee members the growing influence of the cartels in their communities, telling lawmakers about the intimidation tactics being utilized by the criminal gangs.

The Committee was shocked. “The cartels have threatened them with death?” Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) said. “That’s horrible; to think that an American citizen has been threatened by a foreign cartel if they come to Congress and testify about what they’re doing.”

Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) took a strong stand on behalf of the people inhabiting the impacted tribal lands, calling out President Joe Biden for the border crisis that has grown into an unmanageable invasion over the course of his administration’s time in the White House.

Gosar tied the criminal organization’s infiltration of tribal land directly to Biden’s “open border policies,” citing the international criminals’ ability to reach people under the protection of the United States despite several enforcement options to prevent such incursions.

Jessica Vaughan from the Center for Immigration Studies testified before the committee in the place of the tribal leader who pulled out due to threats of violence. She touched on the cartels’ presence and gave insights into how they are embedding themselves into tribal communities, detailing the extensive impact these organizations are having on the safety and sovereignty of tribal lands.

The hearing uncovered for some, and verified for others, the need for the U.S. to take stronger action against cartel operations inside our borders, with the committee discussing opportunities for federal collaboration with tribal leaders to address the emerging threat.

The report to the committee regarding the bold actions cartels have and are taking to conceal their activities from authorities is a scary development in an escalating threat to Americans from international criminal organizations who have found the U.S. border to be an ineffective deterrent to their activities. As Gosar correctly pointed out, the problem for these tribal lands, as with many problems plaguing Americans today, stems from the work of open-borders Democrats and Republicans like Joe Biden who put votes and cheap labor over the wellbeing of American citizens and all those who fall under the protection of the United States.