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Border security matters and now is the time to deal with it

January 14, 2019
Press Release

As your representative in Congress, I want to share a recent column I wrote in the Macomb Daily about our country's need for comprehensive border security:


Border security matters and now is the time to deal with it

I spent more than 30 years in business, and I learned that without fair negotiations and a willingness to compromise, nothing is accomplished. The past few weeks in Washington, D.C. clearly reinforce that lesson. This country is completing the third week of a partial government shutdown because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are more interested in scoring political points than negotiating with President Trump and House and Senate Republicans to reopen the government.

I made my position on border security very clear when I first ran for Congress and have not wavered since: a nation without secure borders is at risk. Countless millions across the country agree we need robust border security, and we now have a president that prioritizes the issue as well.

There was a time this wasn’t a partisan position. In fact, just a few years ago in 2013, all Democrats in the Senate voted to construct a 700-mile physical barrier along the border – which has never been completed. Now, despite a serious problem at the border, the humanitarian and national security crisis has become a punchline to Nancy Pelosi, who told a group of reporters she would give, “A dollar? A dollar? Yeah, one dollar,” toward what she and other Democrat leaders referred to as an “immoral” and “ineffective” wall. What is happening at our southern border is no joke, and ensuring the safety of American citizens is not immoral. The facts and the policy haven’t changed. The only thing that has changed is the politics – unmitigated opposition to President Trump.

Walls have proven effective in securing the border and discouraging illegal immigration. According to DHS, illegal traffic dropped by more than 90 percent in three cities – Yuma, Tucson, and San Diego – after border walls were constructed. Increasing our nation’s border security is about more than just illegal immigration. In FY18, 17,000 adults with criminal records in their home countries were arrested by Customs and Borders Protection and Border Patrol agents at the border– and that just reflects those apprehended.

Border security is also a public health issue. Our nation has seen a dramatic spike in illegal drugs crossing our southern border, and millions are dying across our nation from the opioid crisis. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 90 percent of the heroin entering the United States comes across our southern border. More people now die in the United States from drug overdoses than from gun violence or traffic accidents.

In addition to fixing the security vulnerabilities, we must also deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border. 31 percent of women and 17 percent of men are sexually assaulted on the journey to the U.S. border by smugglers and others who take advantage of these vulnerable populations. That’s why the president’s border security proposal, which been ignored by Democrats, significantly increases funding for immigration judges to adjudicate backlogged asylum claims, as well as provides $800 million for enhanced medical support, transportation, consumable supplies, and more.

This nation, and Congress, has failed for too many years to address our borders and, frankly immigration issues. Ultimately border security matters, and now is the time to deal with it. I have personally met with President Trump and I know is willing to negotiate in good faith on a resolution that secures our borders, addresses the humanitarian needs at the border, and fully funds all federal agencies. It’s time for Democrats to negotiate in good faith.


Paul Mitchell (R-Michigan) represents Michigan's 10th Congressional District, which includes most of northern Macomb County.


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Paul Mitchell
Member of Congress