Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said President Obama has already successfully secured the U.S. border, and objected to the tone of a House border security bill she said militarizes the country.
“The president has spent $108 billion on border security, and we have been successful,” Jackson Lee said in a Homeland Security committee markup Wednesday. “Oh we’ve had our moments, but we have been successful.”Jackson Lee brushed off the recent flood of unaccompanied children on the southern border. “I know we had a disagreement,” she said, referring to Republican critics who blamed Obama’s policies for the flood of immigrants.
After tens of thousands of Central American children and teens crossed the border illegally last summer, House Speaker John Boehner wrote a letter to Obama saying his policies were directly responsible for the surge, because they led the immigrants to believe they could stay.
The surge reignited the immigration debate, and another surge is expected this summer. But Jackson Lee argued the border is fine, because the border patrol agents were able to safely detain and supervise most of the children. “They had operational control,” she said.
“Our friend has said over and over in this committee that El Paso is the safest city in america,” she added. “This bill will militarize the nation.” (RELATED: New GOP Border Security Bill Removes Border Fences)
Correction: Tens of thousands of Central American children and teens crossed the U.S.-Mexico border during 2014’s surge, according to federal data.
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