Congressman Francisco "Quico" Canseco (TX-23), who represents nearly 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed his border security legislation, the Border Security Information Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 6368):
"As I visit with the constituents of the 23rd District, many of whom are Americans living along the nearly 800 miles of U.S.-Mexico border that I represent, they tell me the threat of spill-over violence has become part of their daily lives. They tell me how the cartels continue to bring their culture of smuggling, corruption and violence into the United States. Yet, President Obama and senior Obama Administration officials continue to claim that our shared border with Mexico is safe."
"There is no federal definition of cross-border violence; the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice do not incorporate a working, uniform definition of cross-border violence into their operations. This is completely unacceptable. We cannot ensure the safety of our citizens if the federal government cannot even define what endangers them."
"The Border Security Information Improvement Act of 2012 will help us correct this problem by requiring the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to evaluate their ability to track, investigate, report and prevent Mexican drug cartel violence from "spilling" over into the United States by mandating that they report to Congress on what definitions of cross-border violence are in use and available to federal law enforcement and what additional resources the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security need to adequately prevent cross-border violence from endangering our border residents. This much needed legislation will help shed light on a problem that is largely overlooked by bureaucrats in Washington--the border is dangerous, it is not completely secure, and many of our border residents live in fear. "