U.S. Rep. McSally Hosts Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in Southern Arizona
NOGALES, AZ – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today hosted Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen at multiple locations along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, where she toured the Douglas and Nogales ports of entry and took a line tour to view enforcement challenges, border fencing, terrain features and threats, and spotter lookout points. The visit provided Secretary Nielsen an opportunity to witness the unique security challenges Arizona faces and allowed her to hear from local stakeholders and government officials about how they are impacting border communities.
"Secretary Nielsen is well versed on the challenges we face along our southern border but nothing provides a better understanding of our unique border challenges and opportunities than seeing them first-hand and talking to individuals on the ground. I’ve fought in Congress to advance legislation to address staffing shortages at our ports of entry and increase funding for infrastructure and technology to secure the border and stop the flow of illicit contraband into our communities. This visit by the Secretary helps convey why I’ve engaged in those efforts and demonstrates why more is needed. I appreciate her taking the time and look forward to working with her and other members of the administration as Congress tackles these issues in the coming weeks.”
On Thursday morning, the trip began with a visit to the Douglas Port of Entry. Built in 1933, the Douglas port is outdated and inadequate to handle the pedestrian and commercial traffic it encounters. Rep. McSally highlighted her previous work and steps needed to modernize and expand the ports capacity. The two officials next met with Sheriffs from Cochise, Pima and Yuma counties to discuss law enforcement issues faced along the border. In the afternoon, Rep. McSally and Secretary Nielsen were joined by Rep. Schweikert to host a roundtable with members of the business community, ranchers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Arizona National Guard. The trip concluded with the group traveling to several locations along the border with Border Patrol agents to discuss ways to greater strengthen the southern border.
Rep. McSally hosting Secretary Nielsen comes on the heels of a Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee hearing she chaired in Phoenix, AZ to examine the opioid epidemic and the illicit flow of opioids across our southwest border. In 2015, she hosted over 20 Members of Congress at the Southern Arizona border.
Rep. McSally's border security legislation, the Securing America's Future Act, is set to be voted on in the House this June. The Securing America's Future Act is the only border security legislation in the House that the President and Secretary Nielsen support.
Photos from today’s events can been seen below.
Roundtable with Sheriffs from Southern Arizona
Observing vehicle checkpoints at the Douglas POE
Holding a Roundtable Discussion with Secretary Nielsen, Congressman Schweikert, Ranchers, Customs and Border Protection, the Arizona National Guard, and Local Stakeholders
Walking along the border
Huddling with Border Patrol agents to discuss ways to greater secure the border