Rehberg Announces Immigration Field Hearing Set for Hamilton; Committee Will Discuss Northern Border Security
Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, announced today Hamilton, Montana will host a congressional field hearing on immigration and northern border security on August 28. Rehberg has been pressing House leaders, including Speaker Hastert, to choose Montana as a site for a field hearing given Montana's expansive border with Canada. Members of the House Resources Committee, of which Rehberg is a former member, are expected to attend.
The Hamilton hearing, scheduled for August 28th, is part of a 12-state tour in August by various House members to evaluate options for shoring up America's borders. Earlier this month, Rehberg wrote contacted Speaker Hastert requesting that Montana be granted a field hearing.
"This is an opportunity to show my colleagues that the southern border isn't the only border we need to worry about," said Rehberg, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "Montanans deserve the opportunity to have their voices heard on what has become one of the most important issues facing our country. I expect this hearing will highlight the need to secure the U.S./Canada border. It's no secret that illegal activity can take place along the northern border, too."
Rehberg said given Montana's abundance of public lands, the House Resources Committee is a logical choice to conduct the Montana hearing. Currently, there are roughly 1,000 agents patrolling the U.S./Canada border compared with almost 10,000 along the U.S./Mexico border. Montana's border with Canada is about 30 percent of the size of the entire border with Mexico.
"The focus has been on the southern border to this point, but if Congress wants to enact a comprehensive border security plan, it needs to be just that: comprehensive," added Rehberg. "This hearing is another avenue for the House to gather input directly from the American people, which is important because the Senate is offering what I believe, is a diluted and less comprehensive plan to deal with illegal immigration."