For nearly a decade Washington bureaucrats have falsely concluded that the border is secure and made excuses for failing to complete the border fence. In reality, the fence remains unbuilt and the Department of Homeland Security only has operational control of 56 percent of our border.
The continued flow of illegal border entries, drug smuggling, and the influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) is proof that our border is not secure. In 2014, the United States saw a wave of illegal immigration by UACs and minors accompanied by adults claiming to be their parents (family units) along the southwest border. More than 68,500 UAMs and 68,445 family units – nearly 137,000 aliens – illegally entered the United States along the southwest border. Further, based off of current trends, some estimate upwards of 177,000 UACs and family units will enter the U.S. year. That number would represent a 29% increase over the previous high mark in FY 2014, when the administration claimed we faced a “crisis”
Finally, recent reports of foreign nationals with terrorist ties crossing the border highlight the vital national security need to complete the border fence promised a decade ago. Washington’s continued failure to secure our border and stem the flow of illegal entries threatens both the security of our people and the sovereignty of our nation. This is why earlier this year; I introduced the Build the Fence Act. This legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize building the southern border fence and gain operational control of our border as is mandated by the 2006 Secure Fence Act.
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Infrastructure should be bipartisan. Making the dollars work is Congress' obligation. Be creative. Create dozens of different revenue streams, and make it more efficient to be able to get needed projects and needed repairs out of the ground faster and more efficiently.