U.S.-Mexico Friendship Should Combine Mutual Security Efforts with a Prosperous Trading Relationship
‘On Friday, the entire country got some very good news: President Trump and his administration secured an agreement with the government of Mexico. Our neighbors to the south will be doing more to secure their own borders and to control the flow of people through Mexico… This was an important step in tackling the unacceptable and unsustainable crisis -- crisis -- that continues to roil our southern border.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the president’s announcement this past Friday on the humanitarian crisis at our southern border:
“On Friday, the entire country got some very good news: President Trump and his administration secured an agreement with the government of Mexico. Our neighbors to the south will be doing more to secure their own borders and to control the flow of people through Mexico. These stepped-up efforts should help relieve some of the extraordinary pressure on the U.S.-Mexico border. This was an important step in tackling the unacceptable and unsustainable crisis -- crisis -- that continues to roil our southern border. Mexico has an important role to play in solving the ongoing security and humanitarian nightmare.
“Americans were also happy to hear the president’s announcement that, as a result of this progress, our own families and businesses will not need to absorb the cost of higher tariffs on imports from Mexico. This would have been a step backwards for the U.S. economy generally, a new obstacle for many of our manufacturers and small businesses, and a pain that families back home tell me often would hurt them directly. At its best, the U.S.-Mexico friendship should combine strong mutual efforts on security with a strong and prosperous trading relationship. I’m glad that is the direction we’re heading in.
“So this was an important step. But as my Republican colleagues and I have been sounding the alarm for months now, the magnitude of this border crisis means that far more will be necessary. Our U.S. processing facilities are badly strained beyond capacity as record numbers of individuals and families continue to pour in. The men and women of Customs and Border Protection and our other agencies on the border are juggling too much, making do with too little, and having to triage resources away from other important priorities so they can keep up even the very most basic security functions and provide even the bare minimum humanitarian assistance.
“The administration is working overtime on this. Now our Mexican friends are stepping up, as well. In short, about the only important players who are still refusing to take urgent action are my Democratic friends right here in Congress. Democrats in the House and the Senate have had no shortage of rhetoric on this subject. They are very focused on sounding concerned about this. But thus far they have stood in the way of action. It is not rocket science: The agencies on the border that are confronting this unprecedented crush of people need more resources. They’ve explained that to Congress as clearly as possible.
“There is nothing remotely partisan about this. A few weeks ago, even the New York Times editorial board wrote, quote, ‘As resources are strained and the system buckles, the misery grows. Something needs to be done. Soon.’ And just yesterday, they followed up with another piece, titled, quote, ‘When will Congress get serious about the suffering at the border?’
“So, for those scoring at home, President Trump and the New York Times editorial board are on the same side. It seems like everyone across the country understands that we should provide this funding -- everyone except Democrats here in Washington, who have become so addicted to picking political fights with the Trump Administration that they’re letting even their most basic responsibilities slip.
“Well, I’ll have a lot more to say on this subject in the days ahead. I think everyone understands quite well that my friends across the aisle are not personal fans of this president. I would suggest it is time to get over it. The security of the United States and the humanitarian conditions on our border cannot afford to go under-funded any longer just because Democrats can’t bring themselves to give this White House anything it asks for.”
Related Issues: Immigration, Homeland Security