EL PASO, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) today insisted that passage of targeted immigration reform legislation is only way to effectively manage the U.S.-Mexico border, pushing back against proposals to further militarize the border or to exclusively rely on presidential executive orders.
Last week, the Republican House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees unveiled a sweeping border plan to address the spike in migration at the Southern border.
Among the provisions, the GOP plan would require the Biden Administration to resume construction of approximately 900 miles of border wall and defund nongovernmental organizations that support migrants. The bill also calls for an additional 22,000 border patrol agents and retention bonuses for current agents. In addition, the plan would codify Trump-era immigration policies, including Remain in Mexico, which mandates that asylum applicants wait in Mexico until their cases can be heard in court.
“Enforcement only border management policies are a historic failure. Unless paired with immigration reforms that address social and economic realities, these policies have and will continue to fail,” El Paso County Commissioner and TBC Chairman David Stout said. “To declare that local government and non-government organizations are a part of the problem and should be defunded in an enforcement only paradigm fails to understand the social and economic realities of border communities.”
The Texas Border Coalition also raised concerns with a proposal introduced in mid-April by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., which relies heavily on Biden Administration executive authority to create new pathways for citizenship, more humanitarian aid to Latin American countries, increased resources for border security, and additional funding to combat organized crime and smuggling.
“Sen. Menendez’s proposal for President Biden to enact immigration reform and improved border management – policies we have proposed and strongly support – without the benefit of congressional action is likewise unlikely to achieve its goals given the example of the plight of Dreamers who remain in a status limbo subject to the courts,” Stout said.
To finish the job of effectively managing the border, Stout reiterated TBC’s long-held position that the U.S. must enact targeted immigration reforms that ultimately lead to a comprehensive solution.
“We need more than a bill that balances the ideological and political continuums in Congress and the nation,” Stout said. “We need policies that balance supply and demand. We need an effective guest worker program to prevent the immigration policy and political failures from repeating themselves. We also need an earned legalization program for the undocumented people who are in the U.S. today.”
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About the Texas Border Coalition (TBC)
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.