Thursday February 14th, 2019

Cortez Masto Statement on Border Security Deal

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after the Senate passed a bipartisan agreement to fund border security and in response to reports that President Trump is planning to declare a national emergency and redirect critical funds to build his ineffective and expensive border wall.  

“I’m disappointed that the President is considering turning his back on this bipartisan agreement by declaring a national emergency of his own making. This bill is the product of extensive bipartisan negotiation and compromise. It makes investments in border security by strengthening our ports of entry, expanding the use of technology, and providing resources to combat the illicit drug trade. I’ll continue working in a bipartisan manner to protect our borders, keep immigrant families together, and find solutions for our nation’s broken immigration system.”


The border security agreement includes a $1.7 billion dollar increase in appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security. It includes the following priorities:

  • $100 million for border security technology between the ports on the southern and northern borders such as mobile surveillance capability and innovative towers;
  • $564 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment at land ports of entry to scan inbound cars, trucks, and cargo for narcotics and other contraband;
  • $414.7 million to address humanitarian concerns at the border, including medical care, more efficient transportation, and holding facility requirements with better conditions and services for migrants;
  • $563.4 million to hire new immigration judges to address the backlog;
  • $527.6 million to support the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, focused on addressing the causes of migration of undocumented Central Americans to the U.S.;
  • $191 million for new infrastructure at the Calexico land port of entry;
  • $112.6 million for aircraft and sensor systems, including $86 million for 3 additional multi-role enforcement aircraft;
  • $14.5 million for integrated coastal interceptor vessels for patrolling maritime borders;
  • $76.9 million for countering opioids with detection equipment and staffing at international mail facilities.

The six additional funding bills passed by the Senate today make the following investments in working families:

  • An additional $8.96 billion for transportation infrastructure, which would generate more than 116,000 jobs nationwide;
  • More than $2 billion to preserve our nation’s public housing;
  • $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants, which work to ensure affordable housing, create jobs, and provide services to underserved communities;
  • $1.25 billion for the HOME program, which works to increase home ownership and affordable housing for low-income Americans;
  • $24 billion in loan authority to support rural housing loans and rental assistance, including $1 billion for the single-family direct loan programs and $1.3 billion for rental assistance;
  • $550 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund rural broadband grants and loans;
  • A 1.9% pay increase for the federal workforce;
  • A $267 million increase for tribal health care;
  • Increases Department of Justice anti-opioid grant funding from $147 million to $468 million for communities and local law enforcement.

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