Legislator wants to prohibit border wall construction on state land
January 08, 2018 10:21 PM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- State Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces plans on filing a bill that would prohibit construction of a border wall on New Mexico state land. This comes at a time when President Donald Trump is asking for $18 billion to build one.
McCamley, who resides near the border, is worried a wall will restrict trade and stagnate job growth.
"Putting up a huge wall will basically wall off jobs for us, and that's not what we need to be doing here in the state where we desperately need more good jobs," McCamley said.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Mexico is the third largest trading partner. The United States exports $262 billion in goods to Mexico and imports $317 billion.
"There are a lot of companies that are making car seats that, for instance, that get sent down to Mexico to be put into cars and brought back up here," McCamley said. "There are components for computers. There are a lot of logistics for wind turbines that are coming through."
According to the Pew Research Institute, the Department of Homeland Security estimates there are currently more than 42,000 Mexican nationals in the U.S. on expired business or tourist visas. Congressman Steve Pearce, R-N.M., believes something should be done.
"Securing the border is critical," he said. "We need a pragmatic solution that includes the use of modern technology while updating the culture within Customs and Border Patrol."
If a wall was constructed, American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Peter Simonson said the people on expired visas would most likely stay in the United States.
"I think on so many levels, it’s really just about political theater and not about effective national security policy or immigration policy," Simonson said.
Updated: January 08, 2018 10:21 PM
Created: January 08, 2018 08:58 PM
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