BNHR Statement on Congressmen Pearce (NM-2, R) and O’Rourke (TX-16, D)

Bi-Partisan Proposal on Border Accountability and Stakeholder Engagement

Border communities are quintessential American communities. They are diverse in their populations, innovative in their approach to economic development and entrepreneurship, and, in many ways they provide an insight into the United States’ future.

Unfortunately, border communities have long felt the consequences of Congress’ “enforcement only” approach to immigration reform. Previous border surges have left in their wake an insufficiently trained Border Patrol force, insufficiently resourced ports of entry, and fiscally irresponsible strategies that do not help secure our nation and choke out the potential for more economic development.

In this context the Border Network for Human Rights welcomes the announcement by Congressman Steve Pearce (NM-2, R) and Congressman Beto O’Rourke (TX-16, D) that they are working together on a bi-partisan legislative proposal that is more about a quality border enforcement system than an historically, ill-advised approach based more on quantity.

Fernando Garcia, BNHR Executive Director says, “Not only does the proposed bi-partisan framework provides an alternative to the Senate’s wasteful and irresponsible approach to border enforcement, but it will also be a proactive, border community oriented, complement to current House bi-partisan border initiatives.”

Congressman Beto O’Rourke says, “This legislation is an opportunity for the people I represent to have a voice when it comes to border policy and for Congress to enact real oversight that will protect the rights of all border residents. I am excited to be working with Steve Pearce and optimistic that our efforts will bear fruit in Congress.”

Congressman Steve Pearce says, “I am proud to work across party lines with my good friend Congressman O’Rourke, and I am hopeful that this small step will be the start of further cooperation between our two parties in Washington.”

“Border Network for Human Rights appreciates the leadership of our border Members of Congress and welcomes this announcement and we hold high expectations that their bi-partisan work will reflect the needs that our communities have been working on for 15 years now,” says Jose Manuel Escobedo, BNHR Deputy Director for Policy.

The promise of a border accountability and stakeholder engagement legislative proposal is aligned with the American values we hold dear, such as checks and balances, fiscal accountability, and a democracy where impacted communities have a say in the policies that affect their lives.

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