When people say border security, they are usually speaking about the border between the United States and Mexico. It’s true our southern border is no more secure now than it was four years ago, or eight years ago, or 20 years ago!
We DO need to talk about immigration reform, so I will start there.
There is a humanitarian crisis along the southern border of our nation. For any number of reasons—war, crime, poverty, freedom—people are fleeing for their lives, leaving their homes and everything they know to seek a better life. They believe our nation can provide the kind of life they want for themselves and their children. In fact, in some cases, parents are sending their children ahead of them to cross the border alone in the desperate hope that their child will have greater freedom and security than they will. As a parent, I cannot begin to comprehend a situation so dire I would take that chance.
In order to come here through the proper channels, immigrants to the United States must prove they are reuniting with their families, possess skills that are valuable to the U.S. economy, or will be in grave danger should they remain in their home country.
Consequently, legal immigration is a long and arduous process, which is why some of these folks are coming across the border without going through that step. The small number of physical barriers that the prior administration constructed have had no discernible effect on the problem. People continue to seek refuge in our country. Those who are discovered and arrested must be treated humanely while awaiting a determination on their immigration status. To do anything less is contrary to everything we stand for as a beacon of liberty.
The United States is, after all, a nation of immigrants. People have come to our shores “yearning to breathe free” since the very moment the first settlers arrived. I will commit to working with anyone willing to put forward new ideas and find solutions to these complex issues.
Finally, so long as we’re discussing border security, let us not forget all our borders--north, south, east and west—are vulnerable! Immigrants from the south must not be the only people we concern ourselves with or be viewed as scapegoats for the ills of our nation. There are people arriving from every direction. Some are looking to make the United States their home, while others are seeking to do us harm. We must be vigilant and do all we can to make America both welcoming and secure.