Sessions Fights for Border Security on House Floor
VIDEO RELEASE: Sessions Fights for Border Security on House Floor
Today, U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, delivered remarks from the House floor urging his colleagues to support the Border Tunnel Task Force Act, legislation he introduced to secure our porous southern border and crack down on dangerous border tunnels used to smuggle drugs and humans into our nation illegally.
Watch Congressman Sessions' remarks here or by clicking on the image below.
Read Congressman Sessions' full remarks as delivered:
"Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. I appreciate and thank the young Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, the gentleman from Austin, Texas, who has had the responsibility and the authority vested in him as Chairman of the committee to make sure that we look at, approach, and correct the problems that we have at our border and I want to thank the distinguished gentleman for his years of service not only to the Department of Justice, but to the American people and the rule of law.
"Mr. Speaker, every day we in Texas and around the United States deal with crime, drugs, gangs that are streaming into the United States from our southern border. Both Chairman McCaul and I recognize that the challenges that we have ahead of us here in Washington is not only to support and defend our Constitution but it's actually to defend people who live back home wherever they might be in the United States and no part of the United States is safe if our southern border is not effectively taken care of and that is why we are here today with a bill that addresses this issue even further.
"That issue is, we must secure our borders to halt the flow of drugs that come into our country, but we recognize that one of the most vulnerable parts that has been talked about today and that is known by law enforcement is that of the use of tunnels, which evade not only the sight of law enforcement but takes place under the secrecy of those who would intend to bring illegal drugs, narcotics, people, and other unspecified, but dangerous items into this country.
"These tunnels are difficult to detect without sophisticated equipment or intelligence that advises law enforcement not only where they are but how they might discover them. Said another way, cartels and criminals are one step ahead of the good guys, our law enforcement. Just last month United States Homeland Security agents discovered a 600-foot long drug tunnel running between a private home in Mexico and an abandoned food restaurant in Arizona. Near the tunnel they discovered, as has been talked about here today, and it's worth repeating, 261 pounds of methamphetamines, 14 pounds of cocaine, 45 pounds of heroin, and almost seven pounds of Fentanyl. That is enough to have supplied over three million people with dosage units that could cause them not only harm, but also take their life. Work with Chairman Michael McCaul, our young Chairman from Austin, Texas, I am pleased to inform you earlier this month we introduced H.R. 6740 , the Border Tunnel Task Force Act.
"This bill will enhance not only law enforcement, federal and state and local law enforcement and also tribal law enforcement, with the ability that they need to make sure that these cross border related threats are taken care of properly. First of all, by looking at the issue and understanding how these cartels and drug gangs make these tunnels, how, where, and when they make them. Secondly, to make sure that they are looking out and working together.
"Specifically, this legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to establish a border tunnel task force, which would be comprised of personnel from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection known as C.B.P., the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as I.C.E., and Homeland Security investigators. These groups would work together on border issues where enhanced information should be shared and law enforcement action would contribute to our border security missions.
"It is my hope that the establishment of these law enforcement groups will help facilitate not only teamwork among federal, state, and local, and tribal officials, but they will also help execute coordinated activities to crack down on gangs who continue to seek ways to do their illegal trade and business along our border that places Americans at risk.
"In closing, I would like to once again thank Chairman McCaul and his Homeland Security Committee, their members, on a bipartisan basis, and their staff for recognizing that this a true threat against the United States of America, our citizens, and perhaps our most vulnerable, our children. Their work in protecting our country is paramount and so I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 6740, the border tunnel task force act, a bill that will encourage, help, and strengthen law enforcement in this activity.
“It will protect the United States of America and protect American families from drug cartels and drug trafficking and I want to thank the young Chairman for his hard work and also the gentleman from Louisiana who recognizes on a bipartisan basis that we must protect our homeland and with that I would yield back my time to the distinguished young Chairman, Chairman McCaul.”