Securing the Border

This week President Obama came to Texas to discuss border security. In advance of the visit, the White House has said “President Obama believes Democrats and Republicans should come together to tackle an issue that is critical not only to our national security but also to the economy and our global competiveness.”

This was the President’s first trip to the southern border and he doesn’t often visit our state, so it is understandable that he would’ve missed the successful bipartisan work my colleagues and I have done to implement and fund Operation Streamline. Under this strict enforcement policy, everyone caught crossing the border illegally is arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for up to six months. We have had great success in the Del Rio and Laredo Sectors and are working to expand it from Brownsville to San Diego.

I appreciate the President’s newfound focus on border security and would urge the rest of his Administration to do the same. Earlier this year, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said, “It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control.” She continued, “This statement — often made only to score political points — is just plain wrong.”

The fact is that border violence is out of control. This is undisputed by anyone who works or lives along the border. It’s not about politics, it’s about public safety. The federal government is directly responsible for enforcing existing laws to secure our borders and ensure the safe and legal movement of people, goods, and commerce across our borders. A bipartisan effort has been under way to enforce existing law and improve conditions along the border. My colleagues and I welcome the President’s support in these efforts.

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