Statement on the National Emergency Declaration
During my time in Congress, I have worked tirelessly to secure our porous southern border and close the legal loopholes of our broken immigration system. As a Texan and former Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I know well the threats along our southern border are both real and dangerous. Each day, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and gangs like MS-13 attempt to enter our country and exploit our communities.
Congress has had ample opportunity to advance legislation to strengthen border security, especially last year with my Securing America's Future Act, but so far has failed to provide the meaningful border security that the American people deserve.
The President and Congress have a moral responsibility and constitutional obligation to secure our border and defend the citizens of our nation. In fact, since 1976, presidents have used the authority, granted by Congress, more than 30 times to declare national emergencies against threats such as drug traffickers and transnational gangs.
This President has shed a light on what Washington has known for years: we have a security and humanitarian crisis along our southern border. I would not have chosen an emergency declaration to address this; however, it is critical we take immediate action to reduce the national security threats at our border. For that reason, I voted against the resolution of disapproval and remain committed to supporting solutions that deliver the safety and security the American people need and deserve.