DO WE HAVE A CRISIS ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER OR NOT?; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 4
(House of Representatives - January 09, 2019)

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  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Shimkus) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, first of all, we all are thinking about 
those loyal, hardworking Federal employees who are caught in the middle 
of the challenges that we face here in Washington. As with other 
battles, these employees will be paid for their time away from the 
workplace while they are on furlough.
  So what is this all about? Do we have a crisis on the southern border 
or not? I would caution my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to use 
real numbers.
  Are 400,000 illegal immigrants last year across the southern border 
too few or too many?
  Are the 500 homicides by illegal immigrants in Texas over the past 
decade too few or too many?
  Maybe the new Homeland Security Committee could hold a hearing and 
vet out all of these numbers. There is a problem with that: The 
committee is not organized yet, so they cannot meet. I would hope that 
they would, so we could put the facts on the table.
  I look at the clips of large groups of illegals trying to rush the 
border. What has kept them from illegally entering? Well, the fence, 
the wall, the barrier. A wall system works. Sections of the border 
where fencing and walls have been built have seen a decrease in illegal 
  San Diego first built its wall in 1992. Illegal traffic dropped 92 
percent over the past 23 years.
  El Paso built their fence in 1993. Illegal traffic dropped 72 percent 
in 1 year and 95 percent over 22 years.
  Tucson's wall was built in 2000. Illegal traffic dropped 90 percent 
over 15 years.
  The wall in Yuma was built in 2005. Illegal traffic dropped 95 
percent over 9 years.
  Since walls work, they have historically held bipartisan support. In 
the fiscal year 2007, the DHS appropriations bill provided more than $1 
billion for fencing along the southwest border. It passed 412-6. 
Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Majority Whip Clyburn, and 
Homeland Security Chairman Thompson were among the ``yes'' votes.
  Former President Barack Obama, in a Senate floor speech from the 
Secure Fence Act in 2006, said: ``It will authorize some badly needed 
funding for better fences and better security along our borders, and 
that should help stem some of the tide of illegal immigration in this 
  The Secretary of Homeland Security under Obama, Janet Napolitano, 
reiterated: ``You've got to have a system. You've got to have a system 
down there that includes boots on the ground, that has to include 
technology and fencing and infrastructure as part of the overall 
  It is time that we work together to compromise to reopen the 
government and secure our southern border. We can do this. I believe in 
this form of government, and I believe in this institution. Let's get 
to work.
  America is an extraordinarily compassionate nation. We welcome 
immigrants seeking the opportunity to build a better life here, as well 
as refugees fleeing war, oppression, and poverty around the world. But 
even as we do this it is only appropriate that it is done legally.