LAREDO, Texas – The Texas Hold ‘Em initiative was launched on June 19, 2008, by the U.S. Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety, who joined in a multi-agency enforcement effort to improve border security. The Texas Hold ‘Em initiative is designed to reduce human and illegal contraband smuggling in commercial vehicles. Texas Hold ‘Em features a public outreach campaign focused on informing the general public of the repercussions associated with commercial drivers convicted of human and narcotic smuggling.
The Texas Hold ‘Em initiative uses existing state laws to permanently revoke the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) of any person who is convicted of felony smuggling transportation charges while operating a motor vehicle. An increase in communication and shared information between law enforcement agencies and transportation stakeholders has proven to be a great success for the program.
Laredo Sector has cancelled 620 CDLs since the initiative’s inception. Of the 620 cancellations, 421 have been cancelled due to human smuggling cases, and 199 to narcotic smuggling cases. During the 2017 fiscal year, a total of 47 cancellations were submitted and cancelled in cooperation with the Department of Public Safety.
Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Joel Martinez stated, “While the vast majority of truck drivers are honest, hard-working people, there is a recognition that alien and drug smuggling organizations aggressively recruit truck drivers; using the promise of money, favors, and drugs to tempt drivers to transport illegal aliens or narcotics away from the border using their tractor-trailers.”
This unified effort is a credit to the educational outreach that the Texas Hold ‘Em initiative provides to the transportation industry, freight forwarding agencies, customs brokers and commercial drivers. For more information on the Texas Hold ‘Em initiative call 1-800-343-1994.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.