(2:30 PM) Reed Calls For Serious Attitude Regarding Border Security

P-J file photo

As the government shutdown lingers due to debate over funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall for the U.S.-Mexico border, Rep. Tom Reed called on the media and his peers in government to take border security seriously.

“Our border is broken,” said Reed, who advocates for parts of the wall to be erected along with tightened security measures that include increased border staff, burrowing prevention, technology advances and priority visas for immigrants planning to contribute to areas of the workforce that need it.

The Corning Republican said he hopes Trump’s address last night stirred Democrats into wanting to come back to the table. Reed criticized the extremism on both side and said there had been “enough of these shenanigans.” Reed said border security is something that should unite the country, not divide it.

He said further that the press needs to consider the seriousness of border security; Reed said seven terrorists have entered the country from Mexico since October. He said that the press and some others have forgotten the lessons learned from 9/11. Reed emphasized the point more by saying that anyone who doesn’t believe there are threats coming from the southern border didn’t live through 9/11.

State Department officials have said reports on terrorism suggest greater likelihood of terrorists coming from Canada or through other means, such as by sea and air. The CATO Institute highlights seven would-be terrorists who infiltrated the U.S. and had planned attacks between 1975 and 2017. All of these plots were thwarted, and none of these “special interest” individuals came from Mexico.

When again the California police officer murdered by an illegal immigrant in late December was brought up, Reed was asked if he too had an equal standard in caring about the seven people who have died in national parks since the government shutdown began Dec. 22. That number is not much bigger compared to the average six deaths recorded in national parks every week, and Reed said he’s committed to getting Congress back in session.

Reed believes there is a good chance Trump would be justified in using his emergency powers to allocate defense funding for the border wall if it is considered a national emergency to do so. Once the magnitude of the threat is realized, then an emergency action could take place if it’s justified, Reed said.

Revisiting the Immigration Reform Act of 2013 was another idea Reed agreed could be a good start for further discussion. He reiterated that his Problem Solvers Caucus can be another tool to help guide a bipartisan compromise on border security.