LAREDO, Texas (April 5, 2019) – Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, chairman of the Texas Border Coalition (TBC), today issued the following statement warning that long delays at U.S.-Mexico border crossings are inflicting significant harm to the economic health of border communities:
“With the crisis of a threatened border shutdown behind us, Texas border communities are now confronting a drawn-out disaster involving hours-long delays for border crossings – in some cases ports of entry being closed for full days.
“These delays are inflicting significant harm to the economic health of border communities, the nation and the 5 million American jobs that depend on cross-border trade.
“The delays result from a decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reassign 750 border inspection agents from their duties protecting the United States at border ports of entry to help process newly arrived immigrants and asylum seekers.
“As border leaders, we understand the importance of border security, including at the ports of entry where most of the dangerous drugs are smuggled into our country. It is important to provide an orderly and humane process for immigrants and asylum seekers. However, diverting resources from our ports of entry is not the responsible way to achieve this aim. We need our inspection agents at their posts protecting our nation. We strongly believe we can secure the border without impeding the free flow of legitimate trade and tourism.
“On March 27, the DHS announced a plan to ask volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and other Homeland Security agencies to go to the border to help with the processing of Central American families. The Texas Border Coalition strongly urges the Department to implement this volunteer strategy with great haste and to return border agents to their protective duties immediately.”
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About the Texas Border Coalition
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.5 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville. TBC is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development and health care. For more information, visit the coalition website at www.texasbordercoalition.org. Follow TBC on Facebook and Twitter [#TXBorderCoalition] to keep up to date on all of the latest news about the coalition and its activities.