McALLEN, TX – Today, President Donald Trump visited the Rio Grande Valley to participate in a roundtable on immigration and border security issues and receive a briefing on border security. During his visit, President Trump continued to call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Senator Hinojosa released the following statement:
I appreciate President Trump visiting the Rio Grande Valley. We are proud of our safe border communities, culture, thriving economy, and proximity to Texas’ number one trading partner, Mexico.
To be clear, I do not support open borders. As a nation, we have the right to define and defend our border. And, we also have the right to know who comes into our country. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I have worked with Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, and my legislative colleagues over the last three legislative sessions to craft smart border security solutions that keep Texans safe. Since 2013, Texas has spent more than $2.8 billion on border security. The past two sessions alone, Texas has invested at least $1.6 billion.
I agree with President Trump on funding the following: cutting edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband; more agents and immigration judges to process immigration cases; urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support. However, as a resident and representative of a community along the Texas-Mexico border, I can assure you that it is unnecessary to allocate billions of dollars for a border wall.
There are already strategically located structures, fences, and other barriers that can be improved and enhanced. However, we should not be extending them into environmentally sensitive areas such as Bentsen State Park. The effectiveness of these obstacles is questionable, as humans have found ways to circumvent walls for thousands of years. It is clear that the majority of drugs are brought into this country by cars, trains, planes, boats, and even submarines.
I would strongly urge and encourage President Trump to focus on border security instead of a wall.
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development; Transportation; Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs.