In First Floor Speech, Congressman Crenshaw Urges Colleagues to Act on Border Security 

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, in his first speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Dan Crenshaw urged his colleagues to take action and secure the border. With the latest Congressional impasse ending last week, Crenshaw called for Congress to pivot to serious discussions about policy and emphasized the merits of a border wall as part of a multifaceted solution.

The full transcript can be found below and video can be found here.

“I rise today to address the urgent issue of border security.

“There are two elements to the border debate. One is political, and one is policy.

“The political element consists of the circumstances regarding the shutdown, the negotiations (or lack thereof) and the points of compromise from either side. The policy side is simply the question of whether or not we need a wall as part of comprehensive border security.

“Let me begin with the political gamesmanship. Democratic leadership has been running a victory lap this week because they ‘won’ the shutdown. I keep wondering, what exactly did Democrats win? If you think ‘winning’ means a porous border with 400,000 people apprehended illegally every year, then your definition of winning is different than mine.

“If you think ‘winning’ means standing strong against any sort of negotiation or compromise that would have allowed federal workers to finally be paid, then your definition of winning is different than mine.

“The President didn’t cave to democrats. The President gave compassion to federal workers who needed it. And if that’s your idea of ‘losing,’ then you and I have different definitions of what it means to lose. The truth is that the President has compromised time after time because for us this is not about who wins or loses the political game - it is about securing the border.

“First, the President agreed that a 2,000 mile sea to shining sea wall would be a logistical difficulty. So, he agreed to 234 miles of fencing - a mere tenth of his original campaign promise.  Then the President agreed to $5.7 billion in border wall funding instead of the originally requested $25 billion – a fifth of the original request.

“Democrats then said they could only discuss border security if the government was open. So the President opened the government. At every turn, the President has reached out and compromised in order to get a deal done. And at every turn, Democrats scoffed at compromise.

“This brings us to the second element of this great debate:  the policy element. Democrats have laughed at a wall, they call it medieval and ineffective, and then they dismiss it – without any rationale or reasoning. The reality is that walls do work, as every rational security expert acknowledges. Border agents overwhelmingly attest to this. After all, the President’s plan came from the experts at the Department of Homeland Security.

“An integral part of the multifaceted plan is a 234-mile border wall. Everywhere we put walls, illegal crossings drop. Look at San Diego, El Centro, Tucson and El Paso.  The drop in illegal immigration and apprehensions after constructing a wall is enormous and immediate. And yet Democrats pretend these facts don’t exist.

“They point to common myths about how walls function. They like to claim people will just climb over and tunnel under them. Oh yeah? Just like that? Well, I am a Navy SEAL, and I know better than most what it takes to infiltrate hardened areas. I would much rather be infiltrating a place with no barriers than one with a giant 20-plus-foot wall. The planning considerations, training, and equipment necessary are considerable. And yes, it takes a lot more than a tall ladder, especially when you are discussing huge groups of migrants like the ones we are seeing.

“The obvious truth is that walls make a difference and clearly mitigate movement and we actually all used to agree on this.

“Democrats claim they are for security, but would prefer a “virtual wall” with sensors, drones, cameras, etc. Okay, that’s fine – that’s why that technology is included in our plan.  But to say we only need that technology is effectively asking our border patrol to chase migrants endlessly across large swaths of territory. It’s one thing for a sensor to go off, but when we see a group of migrants going by – but guess what – when we see that go off, they keep going, unimpeded. And asking our border agents to simply chase them down – when there are literally hundreds crossing each day – is complete insanity.

“This dishonest so-called debate must end.  We must start having serious discussions and secure our border because that is what the American people want. That’s what it means to be with the people.”