Border Security

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 7, 2019
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Immigration


Mr. WENSTRUP. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Walker for yielding me the time.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the security and the safety of all our fellow Americans. The fact of the matter is that border security isn't or shouldn't be a partisan issue. That is why many of my colleagues from across the aisle have actually supported border security and fencing in the past.

The fact is, this is an American issue that affects every part of our Nation, sometimes in very visible ways, sometimes in ways less visible.

I represent southern and southwestern Ohio, not a border State, but it is deeply and tragically impacted by the lack of border security.

In the last couple years, there was a woman from my district area who was being deported. The archbishop called the Senator on her behalf, and he has every right to do that. This is someone who was being deported under the Obama administration. They set a date. When the date came, she didn't adhere, and she was deported.

The archbishop had every right to engage in that act, if he felt like he should reach out to the Representative. But I met with the archbishop and I asked him: Where were you in the case--such as I am about to tell you about--where were you when someone was in need because of the actions of someone who was here illegally?

Last year, I met a mother of a 15-year-old girl. The mother told me about their neighbor, the neighbor that they trusted, that they had picnics with. They told him: You have nothing to worry about. You are here legally.

It turns out, he was a 41-year-old illegal immigrant who had previously been deported from this country but reentered the U.S. illegally and gained employment by using the Social Security number of a 69-year-old woman from Arkansas.

One day, he knocked on their door, and since their daughter knew him, she opened the door, and he went in and beat and raped her.

Her innocence was taken forever. Her life changed forever. He got 8 years. She got a life sentence, and it didn't need to happen.

Tragically, one of my local prosecutors tells me there have been multiple cases like this in our area over the last few years. These are the families I think about when someone calls a border wall immoral.

As President Trump said in his address, we don't build walls because we hate the people on the outside. It is because we love the people on the inside. But, really, we also love the people on the outside who want to come here legally to be part of our American family.

This isn't about keeping people out of our country. This is about controlling access, so we know who and what is coming into our country.

Sitting idly by and making no effort to resolve these problems is wrong. It is a disservice to those who have suffered violence at the hands of criminals who have entered our Nation illegally. These victims are real, and so is their pain. We owe it to them to enforce our laws.

To my colleagues, I say: Come to the table. Let's negotiate a solution, smartly enhance our security, and drive on for the betterment of all Americans, so that, rather than being a borderless and lawless country, America will be the beacon of hope for those who desire to come to this great country of ours legally.