A picture of Representative Michael T. McCaul
Michael M.
Republican TX 10

About Rep. Michael
  • A Call to Action—Border Security

    by Representative Michael T. McCaul

    Posted on 2015-02-04

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    McCAUL. Let me thank my colleague from Arizona for her great leadership. I think this House is well served to have the first female pilot who has served in combat.



    We thank you for your service, and I can probably tell a few more stories of bravery about you. I am very fortunate to have you on this committee.

    Mr. Speaker, this is an issue of grave importance to the Nation. As chairman of Homeland Security, when I go home, it is the number one issue, and the number one question I get back home is: Mr. Chairman, when are you going to secure that border? I believe we have an opportunity in this Congress to finally get this thing done and to get it done in the right way and the smart way. People say: Why is it so important? In 10 years in the Congress and as a Federal prosecutor prior to that in dealing with this issue, I have seen the scourge of drug cartels, of human trafficking, the poisoning of our kids with drugs, and the potential threat of a terrorist attack in the United States. I don't want that on this Congress' head. We do have an opportunity to act. We have a bill that was passed out of committee, and I think it does several things.

    One, it finally directs and tells the Department of Homeland Security how to get this mission done sector by sector. As the gentlewoman knows, Arizona is very different from San Diego and is very different from Texas, which is where we saw 60,000 children crossing last summer. We know that a surge is probably on its way again if we don't [[Page H790]] act in this Congress soon. We also know, with the spread of ISIS overseas, that the threat is real.

    With the event of the Jordanian's being lit on fire yesterday, it is a wake-up call that we need to act and that we need to act soon in the Congress to protect the American people. This is more than Homeland Security--it is national security. It is really not an immigration issue. This bill is about securing the border in a smart way.

    When I was in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I met with General Allen. They didn't really have much of a fence, but I said: ``What is your border security with the Pak border?'' They pointed to aerostats in the sky that could see for hundreds of miles that we saw on our recent trip down there. With the value of 100 percent visibility to see what is coming in and how to stop it, you can measure success, first of all, but you can respond to the threats in realtime.

    {time} 1630 In addition, the VADER technology, the radar on the Predator UAVs, is of tremendous value for a smart border. A lot of these assets were actually used in Afghanistan. We have already paid for these assets, and we want to redeploy those to the southwest border.

    We also fully fund the National Guard, which to our Governors-- particularly my Governor in the great State of Texas--is of vital interest and concern. We allow access to Federal lands for CBP, which, in the past, they have been denied; and we have a U.S. exit system set up--which the 9/11 Commission recommended, and to this day Congress has failed to act on that--to determine who is staying with visas legally and who is overstaying those visas like we saw with the hijackers on 9/ 11.

    At the end of the day, this is an important issue that has to get done. It is no longer time for lipservice; it is time for action on what I consider to be one of the most important Homeland Security issues facing this Nation.

    I just want to thank the gentlelady for holding this Special Order. I know we have members of the committee here who have great expertise, both Federal prosecutors, CIA, and other experiences to bring this issue to life. I hope we can do more of this in the future.

    The American people know this is an important issue. The problem is the Members of Congress have been tone deaf on this and have not gotten the job done. I would argue to my colleagues who are listening to this and to the American people that now is the time to finally get the job done.

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