Rep. Crenshaw Voted 'No' On the Spending Bill, Saying It 'Does Not Take the Necessary Steps' to Fix the Border Crisis

Brittany M. Hughes | February 15, 2019
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Freshman Texas congressman and strong border security advocate Dan Crenshaw says he “reluctantly” voted against a House spending bill late Thursday night that provided little money for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall while simultaneously cutting beds at immigration detention centers and upping U.S. taxpayer spending on things like foreign refugee assistance.

And now, he’s explaining why.

“There are many things to like in this bill and many examples of good-faith compromises,” Crenshaw said in a statement published late Thursday. “But this vote was about the border security debate, an issue which shouldn't be debatable in the first place.” 

“There are approximately 400,000 illegal immigrants apprehended while crossing our border each year, and this bill does not take the necessary steps to fix this problem,” he continued. “This issue is not about who wins arbitrary political battles; it’s about the security and sovereignty of our nation. When will we start taking it seriously and finally give our border agents the resources they’ve requested?”

While the spending bill does allocate $1.37 billion for very limited “pedestrian fencing” along certain specified areas along the Rio Grande Valley, that’s a far cry from the $5.7 billion Trump has proposed to build a more robust barrier along the mostly-open U.S. border. And, though the bill also approves the hiring of about 1,200 addition customs agents, it doesn’t provide for additional border agents or ICE officers to enforce federal immigration law for the remainder of the year.

The bill also cuts the number of beds at immigration detention facilities, which would inevitably expand catch-and-release policies by overcrowding existing holding facilities.

President Trump is reputedly planning to sign the bill before declaring a national emergency over the border crisis to avoid triggering another partial government on Feb. 18. The president has also outlined a plan to fund his proposed border wall using a combination of money taken from the Department of Defense, drug seizures, and, potentially, disaster relief funds.

(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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