Torres Small talks border security, government shutdown
February 02, 2019 10:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Newly-elected Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small said she’s all for border security as long as it’s “strong, smart and fair.”
Torres Small talked to KOB about her recent appointment to the Committee on Homeland Security, the government shutdown and what she wants to see happen when it comes to securing the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Democratic representative oversees New Mexico’s southern district and more than 150 miles of the state’s border with Mexico.
She said securing the border means more than just money and a barrier.
“The last time physical barriers were funded by Congress it was based on a mile-by-mile assessment of what was needed on the terrain. That’s a real plan. That’s real border security. Not just a bunch of money that you want for a barrier,” she said.
Torres Small said one of her goals as a member of the Committee on Homeland Security is to make sure there’s enough staffing.
She said, "We got to look for ways to do that because, for example, the Border Patrol last year only gained a net 120 agents and it was the first time they had any net gain in five years and staffing levels continue to be below the appropriated amount for staffing."
Instead of just a barrier, Torres Small wants a comprehensive approach.
"And so one component is personnel,” she said. “And there's technology and infrastructure. So for example, I've seen places where the wall works."
The freshman congresswoman is also taking steps to prevent another government shutdown by introducing the Shutdown to End All Shutdowns Act.
If approved, the bill would keep the government funded at the current level and make sure lawmakers won’t get paid until Congress makes a deal.
Torres Small said, "New Mexico is one of the hardest hit states in the country – I saw people who were visiting, receiving food at a food bank because they weren't getting paid for the work they were doing and that's just not OK."
Updated: February 02, 2019 10:23 PM
Created: February 02, 2019 09:05 PM
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