Cruz: Border Security Triggers in Gang of 8 Bill Not Satisfactory

Posted: Apr 24, 2013 7:47 AM

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is expressing doubt when it comes to serious border security measures in the Gang of 8 illegal immigration overhaul. Yesterday during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Cruz questioned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the objective metrics used to assess border security and found her answers to be less than satisfactory.

“We must have a clear definition of what metrics must be reached in order for the border to be secure. I am not satisfied with answers offered at today’s hearing, as it remains unclear how the provisions in this bill will help achieve a secure border," Cruz said in a statement after the hearing Tuesday. “As it stands, the border security component – which numbers only 58 pages of the 844-page bill – largely cedes authority to the Department of Homeland Security to determine when and how the border would be secured. However, today's hearing revealed that the last clear metric for border security - 'operational control' - reflected that in 2010, DHS had secured 873 miles of the more than 2,000 mile border. When that metric did not demonstrate success, DHS decided to simply abandon the metric. In order for a metric to be real, it must be meaningful. Currently, there are no objective metrics in place to ensure any triggers in this bill will be meaningful, all while the pathway to citizenship component remains contingent on this undefined border security.”

Meanwhile Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Gang of 8, warned yesterday in an op-ed against passing a bill solely focused on enforcement. 

"Passing a law that only focuses on modernization and enforcement and leaves for another day the issue of those here illegally is not a good idea. Because as the enforcement measures kick in, millions of people living here illegally will be unable to work and provide for themselves and their families. The resulting humanitarian impact will then force us to scramble to address it. It is better to address it now as part of an orderly and measured process."

The Gang of 8 bill is set for mark-up in May.