Granger Remarks on Homeland Security FY21 Full Committee Markup

Jul 15, 2020

I would like to thank the Subcommittee Chairwoman and the Ranking Member for their leadership on the Homeland Security appropriations bill.

All of our states and communities are experiencing a public health crisis, and the Department of Homeland Security is one of the agencies on the front lines.

During these challenging times, the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security have continued their mission at the ports of entry, along the border, and in our communities – responding to emergencies and saving lives across the nation.

That is why I am particularly concerned about some of the choices made in this bill.

The Department has demonstrated continuously how important it is that they have the resources to protect our nation from threats.

The best way to honor their work, especially in these trying times, is to adequately fund the programs supported by the Department. We must do everything we can to make their jobs easier, not add further challenges and complications.

I am particularly concerned that no funds are made available for construction of the wall along the southwest border.

Not only does the bill exclude the $2 billion requested, it prevents any other federal funding from being spent for this purpose and also rescinds funds previously made available for the wall.

Almost 800,000 people illegally crossed the southwest border in fiscal year 2019. The vast majority of them entered by simply stepping over the boundary between Mexico and the United States. They were very likely aided by criminal organizations that make a business out of moving people and illegal goods across the border.

These trafficking and smuggling operations only serve to line the pockets of these criminals, leaving countless victims in their wake. Defunding the wall is the worst step we could possibly take if we are serious about securing our borders.

Once again, this bill attempts to stop the Department’s ability to uphold immigration laws by limiting funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  

Reducing funding for ICE beds does nothing more than limit the number of criminals detained.

We cannot starve ICE of critical resources to the point that it is unable to implement and enforce the laws on the books. This will only make our country less safe.

I want to work to resolve these issues and craft a Homeland Security bill that both addresses our most pressing needs and can be signed into law by the President.

In closing, I want to thank the Members of the subcommittee and the staff for their work on this very important and complex bill. These are life and death matters for everyone in our country, and we must continue our efforts to find common ground.

Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.