WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is calling for more resources to ramp up security along the border in the Bootheel region in southwest New Mexico.
"The concerns raised by families in Hidalgo County who are worried about the safety of their community need to be addressed. I stand ready to help address any threats to our security head on and ensure we have the necessary resources to keep our communities safe," said Senator Heinrich. "It's critical that we have the personnel, equipment, and policies in place that focus enforcement on the most significant public safety threats along the border. From our discussions with border patrol and local residents, it is clear that we need to invest more in retention incentives and specialty units in order to forward deploy more agents where they are needed most. The men and women who serve in this area must have the resources they need to safely and effectively do their jobs."
Senator Heinrich is also committed to getting at the root cause of migration from Central America, including gang problems and drug trafficking. Yesterday, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Senator Heinrich called for additional resources to support the fight against transnational drug trafficking at our nation's ports of entry. He also highlighted the stunning lack of resources that the U.S. Department of Defense dedicates to drug interdiction. Senator Heinrich cosponsored an amendment in 2014 to increase funding for interdiction assets by $122 million.
Senator Heinrich voted to make unprecedented investments in infrastructure, technology, and personnel to secure our border and stem the tide of unauthorized immigration. The Senate bipartisan proposal would have provided $4.5 billion for the border strategy, $8 billion for the fencing strategy, and $30 billion to deploy 20,000 additional Border Patrol agents -- more than doubling the current number. That would mean an agent every 1,000 feet along the border.
"I continue to believe that it is long overdue that we fix the nation's broken immigration system through comprehensive and commonsense legislation that offers meaningful solutions to these problems," said Senator Heinrich.