Cornyn Holds Border Security Roundtable In El Paso

In: All News   Posted 08/12/2003

EL PASO – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, was in El Paso on Tuesday for a roundtable discussion on ways to improve border security in the area and a tour of the port of entry facility."Border security is vital for keeping Texas and America safe and for our economic progress, especially in El Paso which is such a key point of entry into the United States for immigration and commerce,” Sen. Cornyn said. “Our roundtable discussion allowed me to assess first hand the local border security needs, and it was important in helping federal, state and local officials work together to form a comprehensive approach to bolstering border security.” Cornyn introduced the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2003 in July to strengthen homeland security efforts at the borders and address the needs of undocumented immigrants."In a post-9/11 world it’s more important than ever to address the need for better border security. The legislation I’ve proposed and the roundtable meetings I’m holding will improve our border and homeland security while recognizing the important contributions immigrants make to our economy,” Sen. Cornyn said. Roundtable participants included Margaret Leachman, El Paso Division Chief for U.S. Attorneys Office; Kathleen Cardone, United States District Court Judge, El Paso; Philip Martinez, United States District Court Judge, El Paso; David Briones, United States District Court Judge, El Paso; Hardrick Crawford, Special Agent in Charge, FBI–El Paso; Giovanni Gaudioso, Interim SAC, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Luis Garcia, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection–El Paso; Ray Adams, interim Director, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services; Dennis Clark, Director, Transportation Security Administration–El Paso; Luis Barker, Chief Patrol Agent, United States Border Patrol – El Paso Sector; Simon Garza, Chief Patrol Agent, United States Border Patrol–Marfa Sector. Sen. Cornyn joined his Senate colleagues last month to pass the first-ever Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for FY04, H.R. 2555, which includes funding for border security. "Defending against threats to our nation’s security will always be one of my highest priorities in the U.S. Senate,” Cornyn said. “As the homeland security bill progresses, I’ll work with my colleague, Senator Hutchison, to ensure that the homeland security needs of Texas and the nation are funded and met.” the legislation will appropriate more than $29 billion for homeland security needs including funding for airport and transportation security, the coast guard and first responders. Sen. Cornyn held roundtables with first responders in several Texas cities earlier this year to provide communities the opportunity to express their needs and concerns directly to him.