By Janie Costa
U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) recently went on a trip to the southwest border of the United States with various stops as an opportunity to examine the evolving state of national security.
"As we begin a new Congress, I remain wholly committed to top-to-bottom reform for our broken immigration system," said Denham.
The group was led by U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security with stops in San Diego, California, Tucson and Sierra Vista, Arizona, and McAllen, Texas.
The Members examined security and technology being utilized at the southwest portion of the border, land and sea border securement practices. The group was also able to see the workings of the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense in terms of their joint efforts to secure the U.S. border.
Denham has served as a vocal advocate for reform and cosponsor to H.R. 15, the 2013 House Bill titled the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act" recently condemning President Obama's use of executive action on immigration arguing that Congress must be involved in the fix.
According to the text of the Bill, H.R. 15 "recognizes that the primary tenets of its success depend on securing U.S. sovereignty and establishing a coherent and just system for integrating those who seek to join American society."
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, immigration reform has the potential to reduce deficits by $175 billion over the first 10 years and about $700 billion in the second decade. Notably, a workforce that is legal would generate increased tax revenue through new income and payroll taxes.
Denham argued that border security should be top priority in effort to prevent human trafficking, drug smuggling and terrorism; he proposed that there is more that can be done in terms of supplying border patrol agents with the necessary resources to secure the border.
"After passing a border security bill last summer that went unanswered by the Senate, I look forward to working with colleagues in the House to lead again by passing new legislation," said Denham. "Border security must be the beginning of our discussion about ways to address every broken part of our immigration system."