As shutdown looms, NM lawmakers wait to see final border bill
February 13, 2019 10:17 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C.— New Mexico’s congressional delegation is hopeful another government shutdown will be avoided.
A bipartisan deal to fund the government and provide border security has been agreed to in principle.
“We hope to get a deal because another government shutdown would be very bad,” said U.S. Senator Tom Udall.
However, Udall and other members of Congress who are representing New Mexico haven’t seen the details that are included in the bill.
“I haven't read it, that's true, so I am going to keep an open mind right now,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
So far, lawmakers have only said the bill would provide $1.375 billion to build a see-through fence along the border in south Texas.
That is significantly lower than the $5.7 billion the president wanted to build the border wall.
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich believes it would be inappropriate for Pres. Trump to declare a national emergency to secure more money for a wall.
“I think that would be very likely to land in court because you simply can't use money intended for one purpose and re-appropriate them as a declaration of emergency,” Heinrich said.
The bill would also add funding for more immigration detention beds.
New Mexico's lawmakers hope the final bill includes more resources for the Border Patrol agents, especially for those in remote areas like New Mexico’s Bootheel.
“What border security looks like depends on a mile by mile analysis,” said Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small. “I know that because I grew up on the border.”
Updated: February 13, 2019 10:17 PM
Created: February 13, 2019 08:45 PM
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