Efficient border crossings support good jobs. Over 1 in 3 jobs in Washington state depend on trade, and the U.S. and Canada traded over $1 trillion in goods the last two years alone. Canadian visitors to the U.S. spend over $10 billion each year supporting the American tourism economy. It is critical that we continue to invest in border infrastructure, such as the Peace Arch crossing in Blaine to create good jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.
Border security: U.S. - Mexico:
Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations continue to transport large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy into the United States at an alarming rate. Illicit drugs entering the U.S. from Mexico pose a significant threat to communities on both sides of the border, but they also place an enormous strain on law enforcement agencies within the United States. Congress must continue to provide the resources necessary to keep Americans safe. Toward that end, I am a cosponsor of H.R. 1867, the Border Violence Prevention Act. This legislation would expand border security operations along U.S. - Mexico border by deploying 100 additional Border Patrol agents to reduce the border violence, enhance border security, and prevent the illicit flow of narcotics along the southwest border.
Border Security: U.S. -- Canada:
While the Administration has developed a comprehensive strategy for addressing the flow of drugs across the southwest border, the northern border is currently left up to individual enforcement agencies. Our northern border with Canada spans 12 states and over 4,000 miles, the longest open border in the world. It is vital that Northern border law enforcement have the resources required to keep border-related crime out of our communities. It is critical for our border personnel to work with their Canadian counterparts to ensure our communities on both sides of the border remain safe from drug trafficking organizations and international terrorist groups.
As a member of the Northern Border Caucus, I am a cosponsor of H.R. 4748, the Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act of 2010--legislation that would require the Director of National Drug Control Policy to coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to Congress a Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy, including a strategy for preventing the illegal trafficking of drugs across the international border between the United States and Canada.
Congress must update our immigration policy by passing comprehensive immigration reform that is consistent with our values. First, I believe immigration reform starts with border security. As the representative of a district with nearly 60 miles of border, I understand how critical it is to have effective border protection. Strong border security requires well-trained professional border personnel and assets.
Second, I do not support amnesty. We must enforce our laws against those who enter without permission. If someone is here illegally, they must go to the back of the line in order to become eligible to earn legal status. They must pay penalties and taxes, learn English, and admit responsibility for breaking the law. They must also pass criminal background checks, and if they are found to have a criminal record they should be deported.