Following a visit to ports of entry in Laredo, Texas, including The World Trade Bridge and the Lincoln/Juarez bridge, and a ride-along tour with Border Patrol, Representative Lou Correa (CA-46), Ranking Member of the House Border Security Subcommittee, released the following statement on March 14, 2023:
“Today, I met one-on-one with leaders in Laredo to assess the needs of those who serve at our nation’s frontlines and to receive an unadulterated view of what’s really happening at our southern border first-hand,” said Ranking Member Correa. “Partisan actors in Washington have told us over again that the only solution to the border crisis is a security-only approach without investing in addressing any of the root causes of migration or delivering actual immigration policy reform. It’s the same D.C. approach used for nearly four decades—putting border security first, without immigration reform at all—consistently increasing investments in border security and doing nothing to address the root causes of migration. We can and must do both—safely, morally, and equitably.”
Ranking Member Correa has visited the U.S.-Mexico Border numerous times in the last year, examining both pedestrian and commercial ports of entry as regularly and often as possible.
“In the numerous border trips I’ve made in the past year, I’ve learned that each one of our ports of entry has different needs—and having a deep understanding of each of them makes me a stronger policymaker,” Correa continued. “As the top Democrat on the Border Security Subcommittee, it’s my duty to be on the frontlines. I pledge to continue to be, hopefully alongside my Congressional colleagues, crafting policy and making decisions on the ground—not from behind a desk in Washington.”
Since the creation of DHS in 2003, ICE spending has nearly tripled, from $3.3 billion to $8.3 billion today—with much of this funding going to increase the agency’s ability to hold immigrants in detention in locations around the country. And since 2003, the budget of CBP, which includes both the Border Patrol and operations at ports of entry, has also nearly tripled, rising from $5.9 billion in FY 2003 to a high of $17.7 billion in FY 2021.
“For decades, we’ve done more of the same, increase the budgets of our border security agencies without attacking the symptom of the greater problem: the lack of meaningful immigration reform,” Correa concluded. “We will only have a more-secure border when we begin to smartly and efficiently fund the agencies we task with securing our nation’s frontlines, without working in isolation. Instead, we must have these discussions within a larger context of reforms needed for our entire immigration system.”
ABOUT LOU: Congressman Lou Correa is a longtime Orange County resident with deep local roots. To this day, he lives only three miles from his childhood neighborhood in Anaheim. He is the son of working-class parents whose hard work gave him a chance at success and who has spent his career fighting to protect the American Dream and ensure anyone can reach the middle class, just as he did. In 2016, Lou was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to continue his work by representing the community he has spent the past 20 years serving, fighting to give everyone access to the same opportunity he had. Congressman Correa is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the middle class and give everyone a shot at the American Dream by investing in education, healthcare, and our fading infrastructure, and has introduced legislation to protect the legal rights of immigrants, care for veterans, and fight against the wasteful spending of taxpayer money.