Torres Small files first bill, questions DHS secretary | KOB 4
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Torres Small files first bill, questions DHS secretary

Patrick Hayes
March 13, 2019 07:19 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small wants to increase border security by hiring and retaining more Border Patrol agents.

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Recently, the newly-elected Democrat filed her first bill, HR 1598.

If approved, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Rural and Remote Hiring and Retention Strategy Act would require CBP to develop a strategy specific to staffing rural areas.

"Right now, CBP is losing agents and officers as fast as they are hiring," said Torres Small. "In fact, last year was the first year in five years where there was any net gain and it was only 120 agents."

The bill is being co-sponsored by Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23). The Texas Republican represents more of the U.S.-Mexico border than any other lawmaker in Congress.

“I am proud to join Rep. Torres-Small to introduce this bipartisan bill that makes important strides towards addressing some problems within border patrol by creating an enhanced recruitment strategy and partnerships so we can recruit hire and retain agents for years to come,” he said.

In addition to introducing new legislation, the New Mexico Democrat recently questioned Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Torres Small asked several questions related to border security and for an update on the two Guatemalan children who died late last year while in federal custody.

As KOB previously reported, Torres Small led a small delegation of Democrats to get a firsthand look at CBP facilities where 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo was being held before he died.

"Those investigations have not come out yet and there's not timeline for that,” Torres Small told KOB. "So I am glad that Secretary Nielson said she was working to get those investigations finished and made public as soon as possible and I'll be working to make sure that happens.”

KOB reached out to DHS but did not hear back.

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Patrick Hayes

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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