I have heard from many constituents about the remarks by Mexican President Felipe Calderon during his recent address before a joint session of Congress. During his speech, President Calderon touched upon a number of controversial issues, and I wanted to update you to share my thoughts on this event.
I did not attend the speech, and I was outraged when I read President Calderon's remarks lecturing Congress on immigration, gun control and other topics. I believe that Mexico needs to address its own very serious problems before lecturing any other country -- let alone the United States.
Regarding immigration, I strongly support measures to control our borders, including building the border fence and using our active duty, Reserve and National Guard troops to patrol our borders. Only after we secure our borders can we address the other aspects of reform. Much remains to be done, but we are seeing signs of progress regarding border control; the Department of Homeland Security reported the number of illegal immigrants dropped by 1 million people from 2008 to 2009, the largest decrease in 30 years.
As always, please do not hesitate to let me know whenever I can be of assistance.
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Jerry F. Costello
12th District of Illinois