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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARROW. Mr. Chairman, I recently returned from a trip to our southern border at the invitation of our colleague, Gabrielle Giffords. While I think it's fair to say that advances have been made since my most recent trip to the border in 2007, I feel it's also necessary to report that significant challenges remain.

Successful border security requires a multi-pronged strategy. We need the physical presence of boots on the ground. We need to enforce the laws on the books to deny benefits to those who are here illegally, and we need to identify illegal immigrants who may pose a serious risk to public safety or national security and deport them.

One of our main tools in identifying those public safety risks is the Law Enforcement Support Center, or the LESC. The LESC serves as a clearinghouse for local law enforcement officials, providing real-time information and help on immigration status of illegal immigrants suspected, arrested, or convicted of criminal activity.

In fiscal year 2010, the LESC fielded over 1 million requests for information from local law enforcement, and recent changes to State law will surely increase those requests. My amendment expresses the intent of Congress to prioritize LESC funding, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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