Bustos Statement on President's Announcemen


Date: Feb. 15, 2019
Location: Moline, IL

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, released the following statement after President Trump declared a national emergency to bypass Congress and divert $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build a border wall:

"Last night, Congress sent the president a bipartisan compromise that included funding for proven, tough and effective border security measures to keep communities safe. This was agreed to by Democrats and Republicans, Senators and House members -- it included billions of dollars in funding for technology to crack down on illegal crossings and to secure our legal ports of entry, where the vast majority of drugs are being smuggled into our country.

"On the campaign trail, President Trump promised Mexico would pay for the border wall more than 200 times. Now, he's declaring a national emergency to pay for it and diverting billions in critical military construction funds -- jeopardizing our national security and breaking a promise to our men and women in uniform. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I'll fight tooth and nail to make sure that the very military construction funds for projects at the Peoria Air National Guard Base and the Rock Island Arsenal aren't diverted for this power grab by the administration.

"While this situation works its way through the courts, I'll continue to focus on the issues that matter most to families in our region -- creating good-paying jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs cleaning up the rampant corruption in Washington."


According to both Customs and Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency, 90% of heroin, 88% of cocaine, 87% of methamphetamine and 80% of fentanyl being smuggled into the U.S. are seized at official, legal ports of entry -- not areas between the legal ports of entry where President Trump desires to build a border wall.

That's why Democrats and Republicans in Congress -- from both the House and the Senate -- came together to pass effective border security measures last night, including:

$100 million for border security technology between the ports of entry such as mobile surveillance capability and innovative towers;
$564 million for inspection equipment at our land ports of entry to scan inbound cars, trucks, and cargo for narcotics and other contraband;
$414.7 million to address humanitarian concerns at the border, including medical care, more efficient transportation, and holding facility requirements with better conditions and services for migrants;
$563.4 million to hire new immigration judges to address the backlog;
$527.6 million to support the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, focused on addressing the causes of migration of undocumented Central Americans to the U.S.;
$112.6 million for aircraft and sensor systems, including $86 million for 3 additional multi-role enforcement aircraft;
$76.9 million for countering opioids with detection equipment and staffing at international mail facilities.
The agreement also includes $1.375 billion for approximately 55 miles of pedestrian and levee fencing in the Rio Grande Valley.