CONGRESSIONAL RECORD ARTICLE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER AND IMMIGRATION REFORM Issue and Section: February 10, 2015 - Senate (Vol. 161, No. 22) Page: S893 (PDF)
What are some of the things we learned that are working? The
Department of Homeland Security folks with whom we met at the border,
folks working at the border, Border Patrol, people in aircrafts,
helicopters, Homeland Security folks on watercraft, and the people who
are running the centers for minors, people who have been detained and
are being held--and some will be returned; most of the adults will be
returned; for folks with criminal records, almost all of them will be
returned to their native countries--but I saw some remarkable work. We
saw remarkable work being done by employees at the Department of
Homeland Security. Coast Guard people are doing it. All kinds of folks
are involved in it--ICE, Border Patrol, folks who are working at these
very busy land crossings where we have billions of dollars' worth of
commerce going through these borders from the United States into
Mexico. We have a bunch of them across the southern part of our Nation.
Mexico is a huge trading partner with us and we with them. One of my
takeaways is, How do we continue to move that commerce, move that
commerce to benefit us, create jobs here and frankly in Mexico as well?
How do we do that in a way that makes sure we are doing a good job
stopping the human trafficking from coming across our borders, and at
the same time make sure the illegal drugs, not just marijuana but
especially the cocaine and the heroin that folks are trying to get
across our borders by water, by air, by land gets stopped.
There is a real tension here, and I thought we came back with great
ideas of how to do a better job of meeting both responsibilities--the
stuff we want to keep out of our country, including people out of the
country who are illegal. We can do that. We need to do a better job--I
think we are doing a better job--and also at the same time make sure
the flow of commerce continues unimpeded.