Granger and Fleischmann on Crisis at the Border
Jun 11, 2019
WASHINGTON – Today, the Full Committee met to consider the fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security appropriations bill. Top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger (R-TX) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) expressed opposition to the bill and their growing concerns about the border crisis.
"In May alone, more than 144,000 individuals were apprehended at our southern border," said Granger. "We are facing an unprecedented crisis, and the agencies on the frontlines do not have the appropriate resources to address the situation.
"The bill marked up in Committee today falls far below the Administration's request, and it does not provide the funds needed to both provide humanitarian aid and secure the border. We must put partisanship aside – the safety of the American people and those seeking entry into our country is at stake.
"I urge Committee Democrats to join our efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis at hand by immediately passing a desperately-needed emergency supplemental bill and fully funding the Department's request for fiscal year 2020."
Fleischmann added, "This bill presented an opportunity to address our border security crisis in a bipartisan way. However, the necessary topline funding levels are sadly absent, and it is unfortunate that partisan priorities prevailed over practical solutions, like my amendment to offer full funding for the border wall.
"As migrants continue to flood across our southern border, it's a step in the wrong direction to cut humanitarian aid – slashing detention beds by the thousands and limiting the resources available to border security personnel. As it stands, our border patrol officers are spread too thin and detention centers are inundated. Additionally, this bill fails to provide any funding for a key component of a multi-faceted border security solution – the border wall – and rescinds over $600 million in previous funds. While some critical missions receive the funding they need, this glaring failure to secure our border cannot be overlooked. We can, and must, do better."
Backing their commitment to conservative polices, Committee Republicans offered amendments to:
Build a physical barrier along the southern border, slowing illegal border crossings;
Provide emergency funds for the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border;
Increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds;
Eliminate the Office of Immigration Detention Ombudsman;
Provide relief to farmers and seasonal workers by expanding H-2A and H-2B work visas; and
Permanently authorize the E-Verify program.