Johnson to visit Rio Grande Valley on Friday, July 18

Primary point of entry to the U.S. of the 52,000 illegal children and adults

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Washington, July 16, 2014 | comments

Washington, DC – U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX03) announced on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that he will head to Texas’ southern border on Friday, July 18, to see the immigration crisis first-hand.  Since October 2013, more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors many from Central America have illegally crossed the southern border.  According to Customs and Border Protection, the number will increase to more than 150,000 next year unless Congress acts. 

Today, in advance of the border visit, Johnson spoke with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas Homeland Security Deputy Director Robert Bodisch to get their perspective on the border crisis and what Congress can do to immediately help the State of Texas manage the crisis.  On Friday, Johnson will meet with Chief Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks, Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz and other agents on their team at the McAllen Border Patrol Station.  Johnson will then head to the Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, which is the first stop for the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who cross into the United States.


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 Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“The immigration crisis taking place on the southern border of my home state of Texas demands our undivided attention as well as immediate action. 

“That’s why unlike the President, I will head to the Rio Grande Valley on Friday.  This area covers over 320 river miles and 19 counties equating to over 17,000 square miles.  Knowing this, there’s no way to fully grasp the scope and depth of the crisis through a simple briefing in Washington.

“The President and Harry Reid just don’t get it.  Last night Harry Reid declared, ‘The border is secure.’  That blew my mind!  If he and the President spent any time at the border they would see just how out of touch they are.

“Mr. President, Americans – particularly Texans – have been waiting 5 ½ years for a secure border.  It's time to secure our border.  It's time to enforce our immigration laws.”

Note: In response to the border crisis, Congressman Johnson has recently voted to:

  • Support the national guard in securing our border;
  • Investigate Homeland Security’s immigration decisions; and
  • Deny law enforcement funds to sanctuary cities that fail to cooperate with immigration enforcement officials.

Johnson has cosponsored legislation to help secure the border (H.R. 4962, The National and Homeland Security Act) and change a 2008 law to discourage future flows of illegal immigrants to the U.S. (H.R. 5053, The Expedited Family Reunification Act of 2014).

Additionally, Johnson wrote a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson demanding an explanation as to why the most trafficked area, the Rio Grande Valley, has less Border Patrol agents than areas where illegal crossings are relatively low and to also address what is currently being done to secure the border.

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