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.

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.

Rep. Cuellar Against Border Wall

115th Congress – First Session (2017-2018)

Rep. Cuellar attends bipartisan meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House where he explains to the President the reasons why the border wall is ineffective on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Rep. Cuellar explains that Congress should allocate funding towards technology, equipment, border personnel, ports of entry infrastructure, as well as security and economic development in Central America and Southern Mexico, in order to secure our border in a sensible, cost-efficient manner.

Click here to view the video of Rep. Cuellar discussing with President Trump alternatives to constructing a border wall.

FY18 Homeland Security Appropriations Mark Up Hearing

Rep. Cuellar’s Amendment to FY18 Homeland Security Appropriations bill:

  • Redirected the $1.6 billion in funding from the border wall to the acquisition of effective and efficient border security.
  • Helped to enable the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure our borders and facilitate trade.
  • Amendment was rejected by Republicans during committee markup.

Click here to view the video of Rep. Cuellar speaking during the hearing. 

Click here to view the amendment text.

 

Public Law 115-141 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018

Rep. Cuellar’s Adopted Language Protecting the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge: SEC. 230. None of the funds provided in this or any other Act shall be obligated for construction of a border barrier in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

Click here to view video of Rep. Cuellar speaking on the House floor in opposition to adding nearly $1.6 billion in federal taxpayer funds to begin construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

115th Congress – Second Session (2018-2019)

FY19 Homeland Security Appropriations Mark Up Hearing

 

Rep. Cuellar’s Amendment to FY19 Homeland Security Appropriations bill:

  • Remove the nearly $5 billion in funding for the border wall and instead redirect these funds to more effective border security items, such as increased personnel, technology, and equipment;
  • Protect the property rights of private landowners;
  • Provide funding to help private property landowners have legal representation;
  • Prohibit any border barrier from being built in the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and National Butterfly Center.
  • Amendment was rejected by Republicans during committee markup.

Click here to view the video of Rep. Cuellar offering border wall amendment during full markup. 

Click here to view the amendment text.

 

Public Law 116-6 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019

Rep. Cuellar’s Adopted Bill Language Protecting Multiple South Texas Landmarks: SEC. 231. None of the funds made available by this Act or prior Acts are available for the construction of pedestrian fencing—

(1) within the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge;

(2) within the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park;

(3) within La Lomita Historical park;

(4) within the National Butterfly Center; or

(5) within or east of the Vista del Mar Ranch tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. [SpaceX]

Rep. Cuellar’s Adopted Bill Language Protecting Multiple South Texas Communities: SEC. 232. (a) Prior to use of any funds made available by this Act for the construction of physical barriers within the city limits of any city or census designated place described in subsection (c), the Department of Homeland Security and the local elected officials of such a city or census designated place shall confer and seek to reach mutual agreement regarding the design and alignment of physical barriers within that city or the census designated place (as the case may be). Such consultations shall continue until September 30, 2019 (or until agreement is reached, if earlier) and may be extended beyond that date by agreement of the parties, and no funds made available in this Act shall be used for such construction while consultations are continuing.

(b) Not later than July 1, 2019, the Secretary shall issue notices for public comment regarding construction of pedestrian fencing in the places identified in subsection (c). The notices shall afford the public not less than 60 days to submit comments on the location of proposed fencing in the affected areas. Not later than 90 days following the end of the comment period identified in this subsection, the Department shall publish in the Federal Register its responses to the comments received along with its plans for construction in the areas identified in the notice to which it is responding.

(c) The cities and census designated place described in this subsection are as follows:

(1) Roma, Texas.

(2) Rio Grande City, Texas.

(3) Escobares, Texas.

(4) La Grulla, Texas.

(5) The census designated place of Salineno, Texas.

Click here to view the video of Rep. Cuellar speaking during the Conference Committee hearing.

Click here to view Rep. Cuellar speaking against border wall funding on the House Floor.