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Reiterates Commitment to Seeking State/Local Consultation & Comprehensive Immigration Reform


WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommittee, made the following statement regarding today’s signing by President Bush of the Secure Fence Act:


“The federal government has a responsibility to secure our borders and to know exactly who is coming into our country and why.  By all recognized definitions, we have a crisis at our borders and it must be addressed.  Fencing has proven successful and is an essential enforcement tool in urban and high-traffic areas.   


“Let’s be clear though, this is far from the last step in fixing our broken immigration system.  We also need more boots on the ground and I was pleased that this year’s Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill provided additional funding for substantially more border patrol agents.    The federal government needs to provide the funding necessary to truly secure our borders, and I will continue to lead that effort in the Congress.  And we must create a system that allows employers to know whether they are hiring legal workers and hold those who fail to comply accountable under the law.


“I was also pleased to receive a commitment from the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader that Congress would give the Department of Homeland Security flexibility to work with state and local governments on the placement of fencing and the use of equally effective technology where fencing is not effective or practical. 


“Let’s also be clear though that securing our southern border is just one aspect of immigration reform, and I remain very much committed to broad reform of our laws that furthers our national security and economic interests.  I hope that with this border security legislation in place we can now move forward to address those critical issues.”