I know firsthand the complexities of the issues surrounding border security and immigration reform.  That is why I am saddened by the simplistic and sometimes caustic rhetoric regarding immigrants and immigration reform which is too often articulated in an attempt to fuel anti-immigrant sentiment.  The majority of all immigrants coming to this great country do so because they want to work, improve their and their families' opportunities for success, and reunite with their families.

I have continually expressed my concern over high-level violence along the border with drug trafficking criminals.  What the Border Patrol needs is more agents and more resources.  That is why I have introduced my Rapid Response Border Protection Act, H.R. 4044, which would meet these needs by providing critical resources and support for the men and women who enforce our immigration, customs, and other border laws.  The Border Patrol is our first line of defense against dangerous incursions into our country.  We must also acknowledge that our Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials do an incredible job along the border, despite facing tremendous challenges which include lack of personnel, equipment, resources, and other types of support from this Republican Administration and Congress.

That is why Republicans must do more than simply and opportunistically give lip service to securing the border.  Since 9-11, House Republicans have rejected 7 Democratic amendments that would have strengthened our borders by increasing personnel and funding for necessary security measures.  If Republicans had not defeated these Democratic efforts to enhance border security over the last four years, there would be 6,600 more Border Patrol agents, 14,000 more detention beds and 2,700 more immigration agents on the border. Time and time again, Republicans have voted against measures which would improve border security and border patrol agents. We have to give the Border Patrol what it needs to secure the border.