Granger Remarks at FY23 Homeland Security Full Committee Markup
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Before I start, I want to pause and thank the subcommittee chair, Ms. Roybal-Allard. Unfortunately, she has decided to retire at the end of this Congress. Lucille has been a tireless advocate for her constituents for more than three decades. I know I speak for all of us when I say that she will be missed. She always handled this extremely difficult Homeland Security Bill in a very fair way. I wish her the best in her next chapter.
Now to the bill before us, I want to thank the chairwoman and ranking member for their work, and I also want to acknowledge the efforts of the committee staff.
Unfortunately, there are areas where the funding and policies included in this bill are political and polarizing. We all know this is a must-pass bill, and these very serious issues will have to be addressed as we move forward.
I will start with the funding. While this bill adds more than 2.7 billion dollars above last year, it does nothing to seriously address the ongoing crisis at the southern border. This bill fails to include new funds for the border wall. We know that walls work, and they have been effective in stopping illegal immigration.
Instead, this bill lays the groundwork for more illegal immigration. The policies proposed only enhance the ability of cartels to smuggle drugs into our country. We would actually be making it easier for these cartels to take advantage of migrants attempting to make the dangerous journey to the United States.
In fact, the largest migrant caravan so far this year is making its way from Mexico to the southern border as we speak. Buses carrying the first of some 7,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, recently arrived at the border, and many more will follow. This bill only encourages more caravans to come.
By focusing on making migration easier instead of investing in common-sense border security and immigration enforcement, this bill creates real-world consequences for our security.
Some of the most concerning provisions in this bill include:
- Using previous border wall funds for environmental issues instead of construction;
- Reducing investments in technology to detect and stop those who cross the border illegally;
- Decreasing the number of detention beds to house dangerous criminals; and
- Further restricting the ability to enforce our current laws.
We should prioritize the safety and security of the American people and move a Homeland Bill that provides resources to enforce our laws, not undermine them. If we don’t, border towns, migrants, and communities across the country will all pay a heavy price.
As illegal migrants continue to come to the southwest border at all-time record-high levels, I urge my colleagues to reconsider the direction of this bill. We must bring border security back to the Homeland Security Bill.
I look forward to working together on these very important issues as we move forward. Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.