‘A wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Texas GOP Rep. Will Hurd said he doesn’t think there’s an urgent need for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, calling President Donald Trump’s claims about a crisis at the border a “myth.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone that appeared to be authentic, Hurd denied President Trump’s assertion that a wall is necessary for the security of the nation, saying that a concrete wall is a “3rd-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”
Hurd said he agreed with the president that the $67 billion drug-trade, which has led to an epidemic of addiction and overdose killing thousands of Americans every year, needed to be addressed.
But he disputed the idea that a border wall was the solution, using previous administrations’ failure to tackle the immigration issue as his justification.
“This is an issue that has transcended multiple administrations,” he said.
“When you think of a crisis, that means people are afraid to leave their homes, right?” Hurd said. “El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States of America. The same can be said about Del Rio, Presidio and Eagle Pass, places I represent.”
As unemployment continues to drop, Hurd said immigrants instead offered a solution to the growing labor shortage.
“When I crisscross my district, the thing I hear the most, people are like, ‘We need workers.’ Whether it’s agriculture or artificial intelligence, we need workers,” he said.
Trump has publicly supported the idea of a path to citizenship for skilled workers, particularly in the technology sector. He has repeatedly emphasized that he doesn’t oppose immigration, provided it follows the outlined process—and that it will help drive economic growth and prosperity rather than hinder it.
Hurd said more attention needed to be directed at improving the naturalization system to make legal immigration a more enticing alternative.
“Why aren’t we also talking about streamlining this immigration process so that we get people here legally who are going to contribute to our economy?” he continued. “It’s a problem that needs to be solved. I think it requires us to be cool, level-headed and talk about these solutions.”
The ongoing debate over funding for the border wall has resulted in a partial government shutdown that reached its one-month anniversary on Monday. Despite Trump’s recent overtures for compromise—offering a deal that included temporary stays on many immigrants already in the country—Democrats have remained entrenched in their obstructionist opposition to the wall.
This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had been steadfastly supporting the president by blocking votes on funding that Trump was likely to veto, appeared to buckle under pressure by allowing a Democratic House-passed bill to reach the Senate floor.
Hurd was one of a few House Republicans who crossed the aisle in voting for the plan to reopen the government, without offering any of the requested $5.7 billion in funding for the wall.
“A wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” he told The New York Times after the vote. “Let’s make sure we’re using the right tool in the right place. We should be thinking about all these different technologies and how they should be used, and when I describe this, nobody disagrees.”