Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement on the November 25 closure of the San Ysidro Port of Entry and the treatment of immigrants approaching the border:
“I was extremely alarmed at the use of tear gas by United States border forces on families – including small children – fleeing violence and seeking a better life. This militarization, coupled with threats by the President to unlawfully bar asylum seekers, fueled the hostilities and confrontations over the Thanksgiving weekend which ultimately led to putting many, including our law enforcement officers, in danger. The $72 million spent on sending troops to the San Diego border would have been much better spent preparing for asylum processing and working with our allies in Mexico to manage the intake and sheltering of these refugees in a safe, humane, and compassionate way.
“This chaos also underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system. That would provide a legislative solution to the challenges we’ve seen over the last few months, like Dreamers, family separation, and border security, that is consistent with the rule of law.
“We also must address the root causes of unrest and instability in Central America that lead families to flee their homes. Foreign aid investments to Central American countries are critical to improving economic conditions and lessening the political unrest and violence that drive people to our borders; they are also far more cost-effective than the billions proposed for an archaic wall.”