Border Security and Immigration
The issues of Border Security are important to our district and to my work in Congress. I have visited the Texas-Mexico border to observe the security measures by the Department of Homeland Security first-hand. In 2011 I led a Congressional Delegation on a trip to Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico to examine the impact of U.S. security assistance in the region.
There has been a lot of debate about our nation’s border and America’s immigration system.
Our northern and southern borders face a number of challenges: undocumented individuals illegally entering the United States to live and work; transnational criminals trying to smuggle goods; terrorists; and human traffickers – to name a few.
As a life-long Texan and former Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee, I understand the importance of securing our border and believe it is our responsibility to ensure the Department of Homeland Security has the resources it needs to protect our border.
Border security is not only critical for homeland security, but it’s also necessary for continued economic growth.
Our North American neighbors – Canada and Mexico – are America’s largest export markets, so it is just as important to make sure our border policies enable the legal transportation of goods as it is that they stop the illegal transportation of products and people.
I know that when our country looks to the south, we tend to focus on Mexico’s security concerns. But it is important to note that our neighbor is rapidly changing this situation through reforms started by President Felipe Calderon.
Even with Mexico’s increased security efforts, the United States has a lot to do to properly secure our border, and those steps must be taken as part of any immigration reform agreement.
I believe the outcome of the immigration reform debate will have a tremendous impact on the district, Texas and our entire country. Understanding this, it will be important that as Congress tackles this issue we consider all the options.
I am encouraged that Congress has started to look into practical solutions. Groups in both the House and Senate have been reaching across the aisle and working collaboratively on comprehensive reform packages. I think this is very important progress.
In the House, the Judiciary Committee has held multiple hearings. They are taking an incremental approach and have already introduced a handful of proposals in order to reform our broken system. I’ll be watching this issue very closely as it evolves.