Friday, May 8, 2009

Texans react to Obama ending new border fence construction

Houston Chronicle
May 8, 2009
Texas on the Potomac Blog

Here are comments by members of the Houston-area congressional delegation on President Obama's decision to end construction of the border fence beyond the 670 miles that have already been built or planned.

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston:
"These fences have proven to be a small deterrent and are not very effective in preventing illegal crossings without a border patrol officer watching that fence. Scarce federal dollars have been spent on building this fence that would have been better spent on hiring more Border Patrol officers, and I am glad that President Obama's budget ends efforts to extend the controversial border fence."

Rep. Al Green, D-Houston:
"Effective immigration reform has to be comprehensive and holistic. Piecemeal solutions are neither."

Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston:
"I am very disappointed to see more proof that the new Administration will not truly secure our borders. No matter what this President does or does not do, I will keep working to expand the successful zero tolerance border security I helped implement in the Del Rio and Laredo sectors. I will not rest until our border is secure with zero tolerance for illegal crossings from Brownsville to San Diego.

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands:
"We must use the right tools for the right job and we should not automatically exclude effective immigration enforcement tools such as a physical border fence and vehicle barriers. Continued enforcement is critical if we are to close the back door of illegal immigration so the front door of legal immigration can remain open."

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin:
"I was just in El Paso where the Border Patrol showed me first hand how it secures the United States and saves lives. I'm disappointed by the administration but not surprised."

Here are comments by Texas' two senators:

Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, said the U.S. Border Patrol had expressed support for the barriers as a way to slow undocumented immigrants' dash across the border into nearby communities before they could be apprehended. Cornyn said he would consult with Border Patrol agents to get their take on the latest development.

"We need to be able to know who is coming in (to the United States," Cornyn said.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas, called "a secure and safe border . . . one of our nation's top priorities" without taking a position on additional fencing.

"To that end, we need to not only put more boots on the ground along our southern border, but we need to support our local law enforcement agencies in the region to ensure that they are no longer outgunned and outmanned. I will continue to work with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to ensure that the increased funding they've promised is being used as efficiently and as wisely as possible."

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