MEDIA & PRESS RELEASES

Border Experts Discuss Their Solutions, Not Slogans, to Address the Situation at the Southern Border

March 23, 2021

An audio recording of the event can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Washington, D.C. – Several leading organizations focused on national security and immigration policy convened a roundtable discussion to share the solutions they have developed to address the current situation at the U.S. southern border. The influx of migrants at the border is complex and requires complex, flexible solutions that uphold the rule of law and protect our national security – and that promote our values of compassion and human dignity. The time to reform our outdated immigration policies is now.

What:
Border Solutions Roundtable hosted by the Council on National Security and Immigration, featuring Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the George W. Bush Institute – SMU Economic Growth Initiative, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Immigration Forum, the Niskanen Center, and Texas Border Coalition.

Members of the media were invited to listen to the roundtable discussion of solutions to the current situation on the southern border. No questions were taken during the roundtable; however, media is welcome to reach out to CNSI@monumentadvocacy.om with questions or request interviews with the roundtable participants. 

Below are quotes attributable to the roundtable participants.

Who:
Representing the Council on National Security and Immigration:
Elizabeth Neumann, Founding member of the CNSI and former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention

“It was refreshing to have a discussion on solutions. Today’s conversation demonstrated that there is no shortage of good ideas about how to address the persistent challenge we face on our southern border. We just need Congress to act.”

Representing Americans for Prosperity:
Jorge Lima, Senior Vice President of Policy

It’s time for Congress to take the issue of immigration more seriously and to act with solutions. With yet another surge at the border and the subject of immigration reform front and center, lawmakers have an opportunity to work together on needed reforms. They can come together on the broad common ground shared by the vast majority of Americans who believe that strengthening our immigration system would also strengthen our country.”

Representing the Cato Institute:
David J. Bier, Immigration Policy Analyst

“Current policy leads to more violations of the law and more inhumane treatment…The bottom line is we need to allow these people to enter the country legally, travel legally, in every way possible.”

Representing the George W. Bush Institute – SMU Economic Growth Initiative:
Matthew Rooney, Managing Director, Bush Institute – SMU Economic Growth Initiative
Laura Collins, Director, Bush Institute – SMU Economic Growth Initiative

“Congress needs to acknowledge that getting immigration right is part of the border security. We need to stop thinking of border security as a precondition to immigration reform.”

Representing the National Association of Manufacturers:
Stephanie Hall, Director of Innovation Policy

“Decades of neglect have weakened every part of our immigration system. But these moments of crisis present a real opportunity for us to fix the system and bring real reform, when America is so focused on the issue. Our plan, A Way Forward, has that goal in mind, and it reminds everyone that we are a nation of immigrants and that immigration was and is critical to making the U.S. a global leader.”

Representing the National Immigration Forum:
Danilo Zak, Senior Policy & Advocacy Associate

Solutions have to begin south of the border. The ideal scenario is where children, families, and other prospective migrants are safe in their home countries, and of course that means addressing the root causes of migration. In terms of processing at the border, the first order of business has to be expanding capacity at state-licensed facilities and ensuring unaccompanied kids are not held in CBP custody. Ultimately, we also need to be better prepared to deal with an unexpected influx in the future — it should not be an ad hoc response every time.”

Representing the Niskanen Center:
Kristie De Pena, Vice President & Director of Immigration Policy

“What’s happening now really requires the Biden administration and, pointedly, Congress to revisit how we’re managing both changing demographics and increasing numbers of asylum seekers…People seeking asylum do not make the U.S. any less secure, and narratives to the contrary either are misinformed or they’re purposefully misleading.”

Representing the Texas Border Coalition:
Monica Weisberg-Stewart, Chairwoman, Texas Border Coalition Immigration and Border Security Committee

“The situation along the Southern border is tragic, but none of these issues are new. We have seen Washington’s prior approach to dealing with them fail because of party politics. It’s not a Republican or Democrat problem; it’s an American problem that is vastly more complicated by congressional failure to address them. If we do not deal with these issues, the cartels will continue to find our weakest points and exploit women and children, smuggle drugs, and inflict pain on our American way of life.