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Public Statements

Letter to Senators Bennet, Durbin, Flake, Graham, McCain, Menendez, Rubio, and Schumer - Immigration Reform

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

April 8, 2013

The Honorable Richard Durbin
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable John McCain
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Lindsey Graham
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Robert Menendez
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Marco Rubio
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Michael Bennet
458 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jeff Flake
B85 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senators Durbin, Schumer, Menendez, Bennet, McCain, Graham, Rubio and Flake:

As you continue to work toward a bipartisan immigration plan, I urge you to make border security a priority. The legislation should include the critical investments we need in Border Patrol and Customs personnel and infrastructure. The safety and economic well-being of my constituents depend on it.

While we have made progress to secure our borders over the last several years, we still have gaps in security that need to be addressed. As four of you saw first-hand during your visit to the border this March, our southwestern border remains vulnerable to criminal activity.

My district comprises 83.5 miles of United States-Mexico border and is still the most porous section of the border. The Tucson sector has the highest seizures of drugs in the nation and accounts for 37 percent of apprehensions along the Southwest border. My constituents deserve better and have the right to be safe in their own homes and on their land.

Our Border Patrol agents are our first line of homeland defense and critical to our border security mission. Additionally, technology and infrastructure are only as effective as the men and women staffing them.

Under sequestration, our agents currently are facing severe cuts to hours and pay that will be the equivalent of taking 5,000 agents off the job full time. We cannot afford this tremendous setback in security. Any bipartisan agreement must make a strong commitment to reversing these cuts.

I also urge you to include resources that will help to expedite the flow of legal tourist and commercial traffic. Our ports of entry currently have long wait times that discourage and impede trade and tourism in my state.

As you finalize the details of your plan to deal with our broken immigration system, I ask that you keep in mind the safety, security and economic well-being of Southern Arizonans and those who live and work near the border.

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

Ron Barber
Member of Congress


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