Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a bill without much fanfare in December that would block taxpayer funding for a border wall on the U.S./Mexico border and instead would require Mexico to foot the bill.
H.R.7332, or the Protect American Taxpayers and Secure Border Act, does nothing specific to secure the border. The bill states:
No taxpayer funds may be obligated or expended to build a wall or barrier intended to impede travel between Mexico and the United States.
Any wall or barrier described in subsection (a) that is proposed to be built shall be paid for using funds provided by the Government of Mexico.
Securing The Southern Border —The Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to secure the southern border by making maximum effective utilization of technology and improved training of U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents and officers.
Increase In Immigration Judges—The Attorney General may appoint 100 additional immigration judges in addition to immigration judges currently serving as of the date of the enactment of this Act.
Humanitarian Assistance —The Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that humanitarian assistance is provided to immigrants, refugees, and other displaced persons who are in need of medical assistance and aid to sustain health and life.”
“If enacted, the law would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to construct the border wall,” Jackson Lee said in remarks about her bill published in Houston Style Magazine. She continued:
Moreover, it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that ensures that any wall that is built is paid for by Mexico; directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to make occur certain procedures that improve training of agents of the United States Custom and Border Patrol; increases the number of immigration judges; and, it directs the Secretary of DHS to take all such measures to ensure that refugees at the southern border are given humanitarian assistance.
In the magazine article, Jackson Lee slammed “ringmaster,” President Donald Trump, for his support to secure the border.
“For too long, some in our country have been singularly obsessed with building a wall along our southern border,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, the ringleader of these implacable individuals now occupies the highest office in our government.”
“All of them, however, refuse to acknowledge that a border wall is highly ineffective and prohibitively expensive,” Jackson Lee said. “So committed are they to their delusion, that the president is willing to shut down the government of the United States in pursuit of this folly.”
“Realistic cost estimates of such a wall easily surpass tens of billions of dollars,” Jackson Lee said. “This is an immense waste of taxpayer money that could be used to make the investments needed to make America better.”
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