There are a number of different reasons we need to secure out borders–north, south, east, and west.
The researchers at The Heritage Foundation list a few basic facts about our current border situtation:
- Over the past two years, roughly 235,000 illegal immigrants were arrested—including roughly 100,000 for assault, 30,000 for sex crimes, and 4,000 for homicides.
- 300 Americans die of heroin overdoses a week, and 90 percent of that heroin is smuggled through our southern border.
- Loopholes in our immigration law coupled with our porous border encourages parents to send their children on a dangerous journey to the U.S., often at the hands of threatening human traffickers. 68 percent of migrants are victims of violence along the journey. One in three migrant women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek to the border.
- Securing the border is the first step. We also need rational reforms such as a skills-based migration system and an end to chain migration.
So what is the solution? Below are some of the items President Trump has asked Congress to fund:
- $5.7 billion for construction of approximately 234 miles of steel barrier along the Southern Border
- $675 million to deter and detect dangerous materials crossing our borders like narcotics and weapons
- $563 million that would provide for 75 additional immigration judges and support staff who are necessary to reduce the backlog of immigration cases that are sitting right now at the border
- $211 million for 750 additional border patrol agents, who DHS officials have deemed paramount to this fight
- $571 million for additional ICE personnel
- $4.2 billion for detention center materials and personnel
As a first step to combat this crisis, Congress must pass a spending bill that provides the funding that the President has requested. In addition to obtaining increased border security funding today, we must continue to push for real reforms to our legal immigration system. Necessary reforms include ending chain migration, adopting a skills-based immigration system, and closing loopholes in the asylum claim process.
Securing the border should not be a political issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans–lower wages for low-skilled workers, drugs smuggled in that have killed countless Americans, increased crime, and an unsustainable burden on those government programs designed to create a safety net for Americans in need. It’s time to seal the border and take care of the needs of Americans among us who are homeless or living in poverty,