We Must Secure our Southern Border
My Record on Helping to Keep our Country Safe
I have devoted the entirety of my adult life to keeping Americans safe. For nearly a decade, I served as an undercover officer in the CIA during the Global War on Terror. My job was to stop bad people from doing bad things in our homeland.
Since being in Congress, I’ve made border security one of my top priorities. In fact, the very first bill I had signed into law prevented significant pay cuts for our Border Patrol Agents. I have also fought to increase funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency responsible for protecting our borders. Over the last four years, I’ve voted for $220 billion in funding to help provide more resources to the Department. Through my work, the House has passed funding for a diverse arsenal of tools to protect the southern border such as:
- $8 billion for border infrastructure, which includes physical barriers and associated technology;
- $18.7 billion for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement personnel;
- $1 billion in improvements at our Ports of Entry; and,
- $270 million in the last 2 years for the use of technology to detect border crossings.
What is happening at our border is a significant problem – 400,000 people attempted to come into our country illegally last year and over $67 billion worth of illegal drugs flowed into our communities. It’s 2019 and we still don’t have operational control of our border. When I say operational control I mean we should know everything that is coming back and forth across our border. We haven’t been able to achieve this ability because we haven’t been pursuing a strategy of focusing on all 2,000 miles of our border at the same time. We currently have 654 miles of physical barriers and Congress has funded the construction of 88 more miles. Even the President emphasized that “We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea.” Because every mile of our border is different, requiring a different approach that accounts for the unique geographic, cultural and technological conditions along our border
We need to be using all of our available resources, including: physical barriers in densely-populated areas, technology so we can track threats until the brave men and women of border patrol can conduct an arrest, and we need more men and women in Border Patrol.
As your Representative, and the Representative of over 820 miles of our U.S.-Mexico border, I have consistently supported bills and worked with my colleagues and folks back home to develop initiatives that keep you safe. Border Security is critical to our national security, and I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the safety of communities in South and West Texas.