… Whether it is a public official or somebody who wants to traffic in humans, if you’re going to commit a crime, we’re going to follow the facts and we’re going to follow the law, and we’ll hold you accountable
McALLEN — U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani made it clear Friday morning what his vision is as the new top attorney for the USAO’s Southern District of Texas, one of the largest districts in the country, and consider public corruption on his list.
During a news conference at the federal courthouse in McAllen on Friday, Hamdani — who was appointed to head the Southern District of Texas in December — said 70% of the district’s cases are “border related or border adjacent,” specifically naming smuggling and trafficking.
However, Hamdani also addressed fraud and Medicare fraud in the Rio Grande Valley before addressing those with criminal intent in his district.
“… Whether it is a public official or somebody who wants to traffic in humans, if you’re going to commit a crime, we’re going to follow the facts and we’re going to follow the law, and we’ll hold you accountable,” Hamdani said in response to media questions about public corruption in the Valley.
The new U.S. attorney for the district was clear in his message about addressing crime as well as civil cases, but he was even clearer in tone when speaking of the level of respect he holds for the office and what it means to him on a personal level.
“The greatest part of this job … is walking into a courtroom and saying my name is Alamdar Hamdani and I represent the United States,” the 24th presidentially appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas said.
Hamdani was born in Manchester, England after his parents moved there from Gujarat, India, but grew up in Euless, Texas, when his family moved once more to the U.S. when he was 11-years-old.
With two years of working as an attorney under his belt, Hamdani started working in public interest at a law firm following 9/11. His time at that firm was instrumental in shaping his focus.
It’s beyond just getting the money from Congress and using it, it’s making sure I utilize my resources now
“I really learned … their mission and how they’re trying to do the right thing,” Hamdani said. “That led me to becoming an assistant U.S. attorney.”
He began that position in the Eastern District of Kentucky before joining the U.S. Department of Justice two years later. That’s where he worked in national security, such as counter-terrorism, for five years.
Following that job, Hamdani moved to Houston to work in the National Security and Public Corruption division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for eight years. He was then appointed by President Biden to his current position.
Part of Hamdani’s plans are to begin the hiring of more AUSAs and prosecutors because, as Hamdani put it, “here in McAllen, there’s a lot of work [and] a lot of cases.”
“It’s beyond just getting the money from Congress and using it, it’s making sure I utilize my resources now,” he said.
Hamdani described his job as “drinking from a fire hose all day long.” But he also said “it’s wonderful” as he finds the work fulfilling.
When asked about his observations regarding transnational criminal organizations and their recruiting of the youth to work for them, Hamdani said that they’re “incredibly adaptive,” urging that cartels don’t care about people’s lives, only profit.
“I’m an optimistic guy,” Hamdani said. “What I’m trying to do is make sure that it’s one less 17-year-old that’s going to have to go through the criminal justice system.”
To see more, view Monitor photojournalist Joel Martinez’s full photo gallery here: