FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Julie Hillrichs, (972) 971-0117
Texas Border Leaders: There’s a Better Solution than Trump’s Border Wall
McAllen, Texas (Feb. 28, 2017) – Today, Texas Border Coalition (TBC) Chairman J.D. Salinas, III, issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address:
“Unfortunately, President Trump missed a real opportunity tonight. In his first address to a joint session of Congress, the president squandered the chance to advance real border security solutions and instead focused on the false promise of a border wall.
“The president should have provided realistic solutions to our broken immigration system, and put forward a strategy that emphasizes border security priorities where they will make the greatest improvements for our communities and America’s national security.
“We must take advantage of the Rio Grande River by moving Border Patrol agents up to and onto the water. The Border Patrol maritime force is highly successful at preventing illegal river crossings when they have boats on the river, but we need more boats.
“We must eradicate the Salt Cedar and Carrizo Cane that obscures sightlines and hides criminal activity along the riverbanks. In addition, all-weather roads are needed to provide Border Patrol agents faster mobility and access to the river.
“The president should also recognize the greatest threat to border security are the international drug cartels who smuggle most of their heroin and methamphetamine through the legal border crossings. We must improve the infrastructure, technology and communications at legal border crossings used by Customs agents to stop drug trafficking and facilitate legitimate trade and travel. We must also increase Customs enforcement by 5,000 agents.
“And finally, we must employ enough judges to process the thousands of families and unaccompanied minors who surrender to Border Patrol and Customs officials seeking asylum. The current backlog of more than half-a-million cases demands Congress double the number of immigration judges to 524.
“At a time when the U.S. government is projected to spend over $500 billion more than it has in revenue in the current fiscal year, there is no possible excuse for wasting $21.5 billion on a structure that we know won’t accomplish its mission of improving border security.”
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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.