Former SEAL still fighting to defend country in Congress, this time on border security

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Rep. Morgan Luttrell, R-Texas, has taken his fight to defend the U.S. from the battlefield to the halls of Congress, where the freshman representative has recently introduced or supported a flury of immigration and border security reforms.

“It’s a different role, but there’s almost kind of a similar problem set,” Luttrell, who has made the transition from Navy SEAL to a first-term member of the House of Representatives, told Fox News Digital.

Luttrell’s comments come as the Texas lawmaker has taken on a new mission for defending the country, making border security one of the top issues of his first term in office.

“Texas is taking the brunt of this, in my opinion, and I’m a fifth-generation Texan. So, when I say it’s my home, it absolutely is. I am trying to protect the home front against all enemies, and we are just being overrun,” Luttrell said.

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Morgan Luttrell at US Capitol

Rep. Morgan Luttrell, R-Texas, talks with reporters at the Capitol on Jan. 10, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images)

Luttrell, whose twin brother, Marcus, is also a well-known SEAL veteran, has made it his new mission to combat the issue, introducing three border security-related pieces of legislation in February alone.

The first, introduced at the beginning of the month and called the Defend Our Borders from Armed Invaders Act, sought to empower National Guard troops with the ability to repel armed migrants from crossing the southern border. The second, introduced last week and called the Jalisco Cartel Neutralization Act, would require the Department of Defense to “establish a strategy to kill or capture Jalisco cartel leadership and provide a report to Congress on their progress.”

The latest legislation, shared first with Fox News Digital and called the Empowering Local Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act, would allow for JAG program funds to be used to help local law enforcement fight human trafficking, an issue exacerbated by the crisis at the border.

“Human trafficking affects communities across our country, and Houston, Texas is currently the top city in America for these horrific crimes. Tragically, the problem is only getting worse as cartels exploit our open border,” Luttrell said of the legislation, introduced Thursday, in a press release. “This crucial, commonsense legislation provides law enforcement the resources to combat the traffickers who threaten and force men, women, and children into modern day slavery. We cannot allow human traffickers to continue to run amuck in our communities.”

That legislation comes amid a contentious battle between the state of Texas and the Biden administration, who are set to go to court over a state law signed in December that allows Texas police the ability to arrest and charge illegal migrants.

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The Justice Department has sued the state over the law, arguing that it needs to maintain the federal government’s “exclusive authority under federal law to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens.”

“Its efforts, through SB 4, intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations and proceedings, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations,” the DOJ lawsuit reads.

Rep. Morgan Luttrell speaking, a gun confiscated by authorities at the southern border

But Luttrell said he’s seen the devastation of the border crisis firsthand in Texas, where constituents relay stories to him of loved ones who have become addicted to drugs and died of overdoses from narcotics smuggled across the border or fallen victim to human trafficking and other crimes as the result of cartels. Instead of waiting on the political gridlock in Washington, Luttrell said the federal government should utilize the help of local law enforcement.

His latest piece of legislation, Luttrell said, could do just that.

“It seems like the federal government is applying unnecessary pressure to our local law enforcement,” Luttrell said.

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Luttrell is attempting to break the gridlock by working across the aisle, with the new legislation garnering support from Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pa., who said the Texas lawmaker’s bill would help make “communities safer.”

“I’m glad to join with Congressman Luttrell on the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act to get more federal resources in the fight against the scourge of human trafficking,” Deluzio said in a statement.

Luttrell in military gear

Rep. Morgan Luttrell, R-Texas, is shown during his time as a Navy SEAL. (Morgan Luttrell/YouTube)

The bill has been co-sponsored by Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Ann Wagner, R-Mo., Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Don Bacon, R-Neb., Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, Jenniffer González-Colón, R-Puerto Rico, Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Pete Stauber, R-Minn., and Jake Ellzey, R-Texas.

Luttrell said he intends to continue to fight for a more secure border regardless of the result of the new legislation, though he noted that the battles in Congress often require more patience than the ones he fought as a SEAL.

“It’s a lot different to use a pen. Back in my past, I used a rifle to combat threats to the country,” Luttrell said. “Now, using a pen is challenging because you want to see instant results, and that’s very challenging.”

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