As a representative of a border district, I know first-hand the real conditions on the border and the problems we face due to our broken immigration system. There must be federal action in two parts: building a pathway towards citizenship that is humane and securing our border against drug smugglers and other serious criminals with modern technology.
The borderlands are in our backyard and I have worked hard to understand the complexity of our current border and immigration situation. I have met with immigration advocacy groups, heard stories from asylum-seekers and I have partnered with local non-profit agencies housing migrants in Tucson.
We must increase the number of immigration judges, so we can more efficiently process asylum seekers and immigration claims. The strategy to stopping illegal immigration is not detention centers, it requires the federal government to come together and build an application process that is thorough and efficient.
What we have learned is that congressional oversight over federal agencies is more important than ever. I have met with border patrol officials and visited detention and holding facilities in Arizona. We must stop the separation of families at the border, provide humane conditions, and reverse this administration’s policies that are inconsistent with American values.
I stood opposed to former President Trump’s decision to divert funds from our military installations and FEMA to build his wall. Every dollar spent on ineffective border security is one fewer spent on strategies that will work. I applaud President Biden’s executive action to halt construction, and look forward to instituting bold environmental policies to bring healing to our desert. We can improve the security of our borders by building the technology infrastructure along our border and at our ports of entry to stop the flow of drugs coming into our country.