Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) Sees Border Crisis Firsthand, Emphasizes Need for Border Security

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement today after visiting McAllen and Hidalgo, Texas, to meet with officials and view firsthand the current situation on our Southwest border:

“Seeing this humanitarian crisis firsthand and speaking with officials further emphasizes the urgent need to secure our nation’s borders.  It should be noted that this crisis is not a new one, but President Obama continues to make it worse by giving the impression through his executive orders, speeches and policies that our laws are optional and our border is open.  The President has most of the tools necessary to address this crisis at his disposal, but he refuses to use them.  I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, who are doing the best job they can under the circumstances.  The bill we passed in the House last Friday provides additional tools and resources and is a good start to fix this problem in a compassionate and humane way.”

On Thursday, August 7, Congressman Griffin toured the Hidalgo International Bridge in Hidalgo, Texas, to view the role of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) in processing and documenting arrivals of unaccompanied minors and to tour the facilities.  He visited the McAllen Border Patrol Station in McAllen, Texas, to attend an operational briefing and combined processing center briefing and speak with regional CBP officers.  He also went to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Centralized Processing Center (CPC) in McAllen, Texas, to tour the center and speak with border patrol agents and officers affiliated with the Rio Grande Valley sector of CBP.  He then toured the border along the Rio Grande with border patrol agents.

On August 1, 2014, the House passed two bills, H.R. 5230 and H.R. 5272, to address the current border crisis.  The House passed H.R. 5230 by a vote of 223-189.  According to a summary of H.R. 5230 from the House Rules Committee, H.R. 5230 provides funding for border security, enforcement of immigration and customs laws, humanitarian assistance and illegal immigration prevention.  This funding is targeted to meet the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis and will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of these activities for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year.  The legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within federal agencies and will result in no new or additional federal spending.

H.R. 5272 freezes President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as of July 30, 2014, a program that has effectively granted temporary legal status to certain unlawful immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16.  H.R. 5272 prohibits federal funds or resources from being used to adjudicate new applications under DACA, prohibits the Administration from using federal funds or resources to newly authorize deferred action for any class of aliens and prevents federal funding or resources from being used to authorize work permits for aliens not lawfully present in the United States.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 216-192.