House Border Bill Unrealistic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2015

CONTACT
Victoria Johnson, johnson@nilc.org, 773-818-9222

House Panel’s Border Bill Too Unrealistic to Be Taken Seriously

WASHINGTON — The House Homeland Security Committee will consider today a border security bill, H.R. 399, that calls for massive spending and sets goals too unrealistic to be taken seriously, according to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).

At a time when Congress is being called upon to enact immigration reform with pragmatic solutions, the House proposal would instead damage the economies of border communities, the human and civil rights of Americans, and the ability of any president’s administration to protect and secure our nation.

The following is a statement by NILC Executive Director Marielena Hincapié:

“Let’s be clear. This is not a plan to strengthen border security, but an outrageous attempt to obstruct any meaningful discussion and debate about real, commonsense immigration reform.

“In this proposal, Congress takes over the micromanagement of border security construction and management by mandating $10 billion over the next decade for fencing, road construction, and other construction and technology projects. Government and defense contractors would likely benefit from the proposal.

“Who loses? Americans, including border communities and anyone wanting real immigration reform. The militarization from the border to 100 miles inland strips residents and immigrants of human and civil rights. Border communities would be left out of any planning discussions and see their economies and communities suffer.

“The House bill ignores three critical facts. First, for more than a decade, the U.S. government has spent billions of dollars to secure the border, making this proposed expenditure a wasteful exercise. Second, apprehensions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are at their lowest levels in 40 years. Third, the existing level of spending and enforcement has led to civil and human rights abuses and needless deaths.

“The new House bill is not good policy, as it will not lead to long-term immigration reform. Instead, it is bad politics. If Congress is really serious about using $10 billion in taxpayer funds, it should invest in economic programs that help all Americans struggling to make ends meet.

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