Congressmen tour ‘ground zero’ of illegal immigration

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) invited Reps. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) to tour his state's border, as well as Arizona's and California's, ahead of anticipated House action on immigration reform after the five-week August recess.   

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McCaul is sponsoring a border security measure in the House and has argued the U.S. needs to secure the border before granting a path to citizenship for those living in the country illegally. The chamber is expected to take up a handful of immigration bills in a piecemeal approach later this year.

The group traveled to San Diego and Tucson, Ariz., where McCaul maintained the border had been adequately guarded. But that fortification has caused spillover into his home state’s Rio Grande border, he said.

“The net result is with San Diego and Tucson being fortified, we are seeing an increase in crossings right here on the Rio Grande sector,” McCaul said earlier this week. 

Yoder said that less than 50 percent of people crossing the border illegally are stopped there.  

“We found out in Texas on the Rio Grande really to be kind of a ground zero area where there are thousands of immigrants coming through,” he said

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he won’t take up any bill that doesn’t have a majority of support in his party, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is not optimistic that the House will merge any bill passed with a comprehensive proposal passed in the Senate earlier this year.