Trump Transition

Rep. McCaul: Yes, we will build a wall, put Mexico on a “payment plan” and enforce the law

FILE: Undated: Unidentified people in Mexico crossing the Rio Grande to enter the United States illegally, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

FILE: Undated: Unidentified people in Mexico crossing the Rio Grande to enter the United States illegally, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.  (AP)

Donald Trump campaigned on a big promise:  he would secure our border and confront the illegal immigration crisis head-on.

A lot of people doubted him. And why not? Politicians have been promising to do this for years, and they have let Americans down every single time.

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That’s all about to change.  Starting next month, the people are going to get what they asked for.

We are going to build the wall. Period. In the process, I pledge to stand side-by-side with the Trump administration to throw out Obama’s reckless immigration policies and start enforcing our nation’s laws.

We are going to build the wall.  Period.  In the process, I pledge to stand side-by-side with the Trump administration to throw out Obama’s reckless immigration policies and start enforcing our nation’s laws.

In fact, we are already starting to work on an emergency plan in Congress to build the tough barriers we need along the border, close all gaps, and defend this country’s sovereignty.

But we are talking about more than just a wall.  We are talking about a historic, multi-layered defense system so that drug cartels and terrorists cannot simply slip through the cracks.

This means more border patrol agents, new authorities, aerial surveillance, sensors, and other technology to make sure we seal our territory from illegals for good.

We will take a military-style approach by giving our border and immigration agencies the real command-and-control they need to make it happen.

Congress will seek to fund this effort straight-away, but we cannot simply stick Americans with the bill.

Our neighbors have failed to contain the crisis within their own countries, and they must have skin in the game to fix it once and for all.

That is why I’m proposing we put Mexico on a “payment plan” and fulfill President-Elect Trump’s demand that our allies help resolve this mess.

There are many reasonable ways to do this.  For starters, we can put in place new immigration fees from Mexico, institute a security toll at border crossings, “seize and freeze” drug cartel assets, and more.

But it shouldn’t be limited to Mexico.  Other countries in Latin America have contributed to the crisis—and failed to rein in the chaos—so they should also help pay for these fixes, too.

In turn, we will offer to work with them to help their governments figure out how to secure their own borders and keep threats from spilling over into neighboring countries like our own.

Additionally, we must urgently deter new waves of illegal aliens by overturning Obama’s failed immigration policies.

I will back Donald Trump’s efforts to rescind the Obama administration’s unlawful executive actions. And I will do all that I can to see that we end “catch-and-release,” enforce expedited removal of people who come into America illegally, and reform asylum standards so that foreigners cannot simply use “magic words” to get a free pass into America.

Moreover, we will work with the administration to take sweeping actions to find and deport all criminal aliens in our country and ensure foreign governments accept those who are sent back.

I will also see to it that we catch people who violate their visas by putting in place a rigorous entry-exit system to track foreigners who overstay their welcome.

In the meantime, we can’t forget about American workers.  We’ve got to protect our economy by mandating the use of E-Verify to ensure illegal aliens are not taking away American jobs and by re-examining foreign guest-worker programs.

Finally, and most critically, I will push to close terrorist pathways into the United States.

In Congress, I was the architect of “extreme vetting” and have pushed to ramp up security screening of U.S.-bound travelers.

I will help champion President Trump’s vision to do exactly that and stop jihadists from exploiting our immigration system to enter the country posing as tourists, immigrants, and refugees.

In countries where our law enforcement and intelligence officials tell us we cannot confidently weed out Islamist terror operatives, we will temporarily suspend immigration until better security checks can be put in place.

Next Wednesday, December 7, I will deliver my annual State of Homeland Security Address at the Heritage Foundation and discuss these policies in more detail.

But for now, the American people should know this:  your voice was heard, and we are going to work with the Trump administration to shake up Washington and get the job done.

Republican Michael McCaul, represents Texas' 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

 

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