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Just days after ending the longest-ever government shutdown, Donald Trump is once again threatening to shut down the federal government or declare a national emergency in order to extract funds for his unnecessary border wall. Both tactics are widely unpopular and it is unclear whether either will result in new wall construction. Trump’s wall was a racist campaign chant and a mnemonic device that has very little to do with effective border security. The nine members of Congress who represent the southern border, including lone Republican Will Hurd (TX-23), know the wall is unnecessary. That is why none of them support it. Here is what they have publicly said about Trump’s wall:
It’s a “fallacy….that a wall equals border security,” Hurd told MSNBC on December 2, 2018. “Building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to keep the border secure.”
Building a wall along the whole southern border is “wasting hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” Hurd told CNN on January 27, 2019.
“The facts have not changed. Building a wall is the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border,” Hurd wrote in a statement on January 25, 2019. “The 23rd District of Texas, which I represent, has over 800 miles of the border, more than any other Member of Congress, and it is impossible to build a physical wall in much of its terrain,”
“The border wall is a physical representation of the cultural and racial insults President Trump has spewed since his campaign announcement. A physical wall is also a wasteful expenditure of taxpayer dollars, endangers wildlife, stomps on property rights of private landowners, and isolates our partner, Mexico,” Vela wrote in a statement.
“The border wall makes no sense for our communities. The president is fixated on a senseless border wall fight when we could be allocating these funds to actual crises in our nation like the opioid crisis. When we look at the country conditions in Central America, it’s obvious that this is a humanitarian issue that runs much deeper than just a border wall,” Vela said on January 10, 2019.
Speaking of Trump, “I think he is wrong politically, and in terms of security, absolutely wrong,” Grijalva told CBS. The wall “would be devastating to my district.”
A border fence is Trump’s border wall plain and simple, and it’s not something I will support. I’ll say it again for the people in the back: Not one penny for Trump’s divisive wall. https://t.co/fSryGPaFsT #NoBorderWall
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) December 4, 2018
“I have been outspoken against President Trump’s wall because, unlike those who have championed for a giant wall between the United States and Mexico, I represent the border and actually live there. I speak with constituents, landowners, and law enforcement professionals regularly and we all know that a massively expensive wall is nothing more than a 14th-century solution to a 21st-century challenge,” Cuellar wrote in a statement on January 9, 2019.
“Absolutely not,” Kirkpatrick said to the idea of Trump’s wall in an interview on December 12, 2018. “We don’t want a wall in southern Arizona. A third of our economy comes from Mexico. We want to build bridges, not walls.”
On her campaign website, Kirkpatrick wrote that she “supports policies that keep families together and rejects the Trump Administration’s agenda of building a wall and targeting productive working people for deportation.”
“I live along the border,” Vargas said on CNN on January 8, 2019. “The notion that we have a crisis there, a security crisis, is absolute nonsense.”
“Our border communities do not want or need Trump’s ineffective wall,” Vargas wrote on Facebook. “In #CA51, there are countless other projects that could benefit from even a portion of the President’s demands for $5.7 billion of wall funding. We could invest in improving and expanding the infrastructure at our ports of entry.”
“We already have wall sections across many parts of our border, places where it makes sense. But there are other places in remote areas and rural parts of the border, like the areas that I represent, where a wall and the limited amount of effect that that would have isn’t as important as having the right personnel, as having the right technology to make sure that we’re keeping all of us safe.” Torres-Small said on CNN on December 27, 2018.
“I don’t believe we should be spending taxpayer dollars on a brick and border wall,” said Gonzalez on January 8, 2018. Later that day on CBS, Gonzalez said the wall is “a 4th-century solution to a 21st century problem”.
“This wall does not secure our border. This is not the solution. Mr. President, my fellow colleagues, you have made a serious mistake,” said Gonzalez on December 20, 2018.
“The border is secure. It has never been safer,” Escobar said in November 2018.
“President Trump’s call for a wall is simplistic and misguided. While there is indeed a crisis on the border, it’s not the one the president describes — and, in fact, his ‘solution’ will only make things worse,” Escobar wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times.