Under House-Passed Budget, Border Protection Reaches Highest Force Levels
Enforcement Just One Part of Immigration Reform
(Washington, D.C.) – According to press reports, the House of Representatives may soon debate immigration reform. It is expected that measures to enhance enforcement will be included whenever this debate occurs. It is important to note however, that a "down-payment" on improved enforcement has already been funded – and is currently being carried out. Under appropriations legislation previously approved by Congress, the Department of Homeland Security is hiring 2000 additional customs and border protection officers, to be stationed at select locations across the nation. Cities include New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Laredo, Nogales, and New Orleans. With a budget increase of more than $110 million, Customs and Border Protection will reach its highest operational force levels.
This additional funding shows that contrary to the claims of some critics, Congress has been willing to take steps to improve enforcement of America's laws – even before a broader debate over immigration. If and when Congress begins such a debate, Members will have the opportunity to make further improvements. Adopting market-based, employer-driven amendments to legal immigration would also be a boost to the nation's economy – an important goal with the recent news that more than 800,000 people dropped out of the labor force last month. It is also important to address the millions here without legal status, and to provide certainty for children brought here through no fault of their own.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Congress has already begun to address a key part of immigration reform – by giving the Department of Homeland Security the resources to hire additional border protection officers, and by raising the CBP force level to an all-time high. Hiring 2000 additional officers will help ensure that our laws are enforced and obeyed. This is a start, but Congress should do more. Market-based, employer driven immigration reform will benefit our country at a time when the weak economy desperately needs a boost. Reforms to our broken system of legal immigration will help reduce pressures for people to enter or remain in violation of the law.
Both parties in Congress have an opportunity to reach across the aisle to improve our immigration laws. Americans want a bipartisan solution that keeps families together, responds to the needs of entrepreneurs, and allows all who are willing to work hard and contribute to society a chance to achieve the American dream."