Like many residents of the Antelope Valley, my family and I have recently noticed the rise of illegal growing operations in the region. These cartel-linked grows brought with them a rise in crime and are using trafficked illegal immigrants as indentured servant workers. These are multi-million-dollar criminal operations that have infiltrated our neighborhoods, and they are threatening our families and neighbors.
And as the crisis at our border continues without any sign of slowing down, the Joe Biden administration refuses to address the problems we face. For the folks of the Antelope Valley, the border crisis is no longer something taking place hundreds of miles away. It is hurting our communities right here, and our federal government refuses to recognize it.
Only a few months ago, Rep. Mike Garcia began to receive calls from AV residents who were concerned with these operations spreading across the desert floor. Instead of dismissing us, he took action. Immediately.
He joined law enforcement on multiple flights to spot these operations beginning in March, and shined a bright light on the little-known issue on national TV. He made sure the AV was not forgotten.
And just a few weeks ago, he was there on the ground at a multi-agency raid (the largest in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s history) that took down illegal growing operations in four different counties.
In a time where too many of our elected leaders are all talk, Garcia takes action. He saw a problem, and within weeks, he was on the ground as law enforcement bulldozed grow houses worth tens of millions of dollars to the cartels. He puts AV families first, and my family appreciates it more than he knows.