Border & Homeland Security
Native to the U.S. southwest border, Congressman Cuellar understands the importance of protecting our nation from modern day international security threats. Congressman Cuellar believes in finding 21st century solutions to our nation’s challenges. While serving on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, he has passed measures which increase both transparency and oversight of immigration detention centers and opposed the funding of a wall at the border. Instead of constructing border walls, a 14th century solution, the Congressman introduced more effective alternatives, such as modernizing land ports of entry and our security infrastructure, bolstering U.S. Border Patrol vehicles and checkpoints, and increasing border patrol agent salaries to reduce attrition.
Congressman Cuellar believes in coordinating the efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to better protect our southwest border and respond to evolving threats and violence associated with drug and human trafficking, weapons smuggling, terrorism, arms trades, illegal cash flow, and contraband movement across our nation's borders. In 2007, he authored the Prosperous and Secure Neighbor Alliance Act to combat drug trafficking and weapons smuggling within border communities. In 2009, he authored and signed into law a high-level U.S.-Mexico Commission to increase interoperability between law enforcement agencies domestically and in Mexico.
Last year, Congressman Cuellar helped commit millions in federal funding for new border security technology and to support cutting-edge science and technology programs to protect the southwest border through effective, modern day law enforcement methods. Annually, Congressman Cuellar hosts border security roundtables and conferences with federal, state and local elected officials, law enforcement agencies and local interest groups to solicit input and suggestions on how to better combat drug trafficking along the border.
Critically, the Congressman was part of the bipartisan, bicameral conference committee selected to negotiate the end of the 35-day government shutdown. During these proceedings, he ensured federal funds were prohibited from costs to construct border barriers threatening sites of national and local importance such as the SpaceX launch site, the National Butterfly Center, La Lomita Historical Park, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge.