Thursday, May 6, 2010
Here, in its entirety, is a a recent news release from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The emphasis is ours.
U.S. REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS CRITICIZES SLOW FEDERAL RESPONSE TO BORDER SECURITY CRISIS
Congresswoman meets with Secretary Napolitano and her counterpart in Mexican cabinet
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today strongly criticized the slow federal response to Arizona’s border security crisis in a meeting with top officials from the United States and Mexico.
“This was a timely opportunity for officials responsible for security on both sides of the international border to hear Arizona’s concerns,” Giffords said after the 90-minute meeting in the Capitol. “I didn’t mince words. I told them that Arizonans are angry and we want action. I told them that the United States and Mexico must work together to confront the crisis on our border.”
The meeting, hosted by U.S. Reps. Solomon Ortiz of Texas and Harry Teague of New Mexico, was held to discuss U.S.-Mexico cooperation and efforts to strengthen security, coordinate law enforcement activities and streamline lawful commerce and travel.
Attendees included U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement John T. Morton and Secretary de Gobernacion Fernando Francisco Gomez Mont Urrueta.
During the meeting, the congresswoman held up a copy of the April 29 Tucson Weekly, which had as its cover story an article about the murder of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz. Giffords said Krentz had become a symbol of the border security crisis, gave the newspaper to Secretary Napolitano and asked her to show it to President Obama.
“Washington needs to see what Southern Arizonans see,” Giffords said after the meeting. “They need to understand what we live with every day. Once they do, my hope is they will respond to our requests to send the National Guard to the border and increase the number of Border Patrol agents along our country’s most troubled international boundary.”
Giffords has repeatedly called for the deployment of the Guard since Krentz’s March 27 murder. She renewed that call most recently on April 31, after Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Louie Puroll was shot and wounded by suspected drug smugglers while on patrol in a remote stretch of desert south of Phoenix.
Last week, she joined with a bipartisan group of lawmakers from five states to call upon Obama to deploy the National Guard to the Arizona-Mexico border. She also recently introduced legislation to crack down on the ability of drug cartels to launder money.
“Border security is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue, it’s an American issue,” Giffords said at that time. “Every American, no matter which party they belong to or where they live, is deeply concerned about restoring law and order in our border communities. These communities have suffered enough. President Obama needs to immediately deploy the National Guard and send a clear message to the drug cartels: We will fight you, we will stop you and we will never waiver in our commitment to securing our border.”
Giffords’ 8th Congressional District in Southeastern Arizona includes 114 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Her district is one of 10 along the border: two are in California, two in Arizona, one in New Mexico and five in Texas.