Earlier this week, I was invited by Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist – second-in-command at the Pentagon – to visit the southern border near McAllen, Texas. During the trip, we saw firsthand ongoing security operations, new border wall construction, and the critical role the Defense Department is playing in securing our nation. What happens along our southern border impacts every community in the United States, especially right here in Texas. With the longest stretch of border of any state – over 1,000 miles – many of our cities and towns are exposed to transnational crimes including human trafficking, money laundering, and drug smuggling.

As the Republican Leader of the Appropriations Committee, I have long championed measures to secure our border, reform our country’s legal immigration system, and uphold the rule of law. I have been pleased to work tirelessly alongside President Donald Trump on these efforts since the earliest days of his Administration, including negotiating nearly $3 billion over the past two years for border wall construction.



Over the past few years, I have traveled to the border six times, including with the President to see the first sections of the new fencing last spring. This week’s visit included a stop at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) McAllen Station, where I was briefed by CBP personnel on the ongoing crisis at our southern border. Throughout the trip, I was also able to meet many Texas Army National Guard troops supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts.

I was so impressed to see the significant strides we have made in building the wall and improving border security technology since my last trip. In just eight months, we have seen a more than 70 percent drop in apprehensions along the southern border. 

Despite this progress, however, more is needed to keep our great state – and country - safe and secure from cross-border crimes. In Fiscal Year 2019, CBP apprehended almost 1,000 gang members and thousands of criminal aliens, and seized over 800,000 pounds of drugs at the southern border. CBP’s air and marine operations contributed another 300,000 pounds of drug seizures. “I’ve personally seen why we need to be ever vigilant at our border to stop criminals and trafficker. On a trip to the border last February, I witnessed a drug seizure of several kilos of cocaine at a point of entry.”

As my friend Secretary Norquist said this Monday at McAllen station: “The ability of a nation to secure its border is vital to its sovereignty, security, and safety. Put simply, border security is national security.”


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Please know that President Trump and I are committed to continuing to keep our promises to secure the border and strengthen our national security!

As I said this week at a subcommittee hearing with Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, it has always been my priority to make sure that the Department of Homeland Security has the resources it needs to secure our borders, keep our communities safe, and ensure the legal trade and travel so vital to our state and our nation will continue. I will continue fighting for those resources now and in the future.



Kay Granger