|September 10, 2003|
Congresswoman Kay Granger joined key House Committee Chairman to highlight House involvement in homeland security, to reflect on the past two years of making America safer and to discuss how far our nation has come since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Her remarks follow:
I’m pleased to join my colleagues here today. We have all undertaken the enormous task of addressing national security and it takes all of us to produce the results you expect. Coming from the great state of Texas, my constituents are very concerned about border security—and because they have traveled that border, they understand the difficulty in protecting that territory. The US/Mexico border is 2,000 miles long—2,000 miles—that’s the distance from Washington, DC to Phoenix, Arizona.
In order for my colleagues to understand the Homeland Security challenge in monitoring this huge gateway to America, I’m working with Chairman Camp to bring members to the US/Mexico border early next year. We will see night-time border operations and we will see, firsthand, taxpayer dollars being used to protect our borders.
Our federal task on the border is to streamline national security while still protecting legal immigration and dignity for all individuals. This is an enormous task that requires focused diligence and a common-sense approach to inspections and process.
The appropriations committee has approached border security funding with exactly that common-sense view. The committee is funding programs and activities that weed out terrorists and terrorist organizations while still protecting our important relationship with Mexico. I’m proud of the attention being paid to this issue and I’m glad we are making progress. "What progress?" You might ask.
So, let me give you a snapshot of what is happening on the US/Mexico border today, TODAY alone border agents will inspect: -over 57,000 trucks, and -over 320, 000 cars They will also make over 64 arrests of suspicious travelers and seize almost a half a million in illegal currency.
Finally, by the day’s end, agents will seize over 4,600 pounds of narcotics and deploy 1,200 dog teams to aid in those inspections. I’m proud that the homeland appropriations committee has funded these common sense measures. It’s a pleasure to work with Chairman Rogers and leadership on these issues.
I also commend the administration for giving priority to the important border security issues. As a team, we have made great progress in two years and we all pray we have a safe and secure future ahead of us.