[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 186 (Tuesday, November 27, 2018)]
[Page H9579]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1215
                            BORDER SECURITY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Rothfus) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Speaker, in the coming days, this House will debate 
the importance of securing our border with Mexico. This should not be a 
controversial debate. Every nation has the right to secure its borders. 
There are, indeed, differences among nations from the type of 
government to the freedoms and liberties a country's people enjoy, and 
borders define where these begin and end.
  Borders also allow countries to determine who and, as important, what 
is allowed to enter into respective nations. It is this latter point, 
Mr. Speaker, given the historical context in which the United States 
and Mexico find themselves, that impels not only the United States but 
also Mexico to ensure that we have a secure border. There are certain 
products, namely dangerous narcotics, being made in and shipped through 
Mexico that we do not want in the United States, and there are items 
such as illicit cash from drug sales that Mexico does not want imported 
from the United States.
  Yes, we are concerned about knowing the identity of individuals 
coming into our country, and we need to be vetting each individual 
seeking admission to the United States. But it is the illicit drug 
trade, which is responsible for taking tens of thousands of lives on 
both sides of the border, that makes beyond urgent the securing of the 
U.S.-Mexico border.
  Ninety percent of the heroin used in our country comes from Mexico. 
Fentanyl, methamphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana also flow across the 
border in staggering amounts.
  These poisons destroy lives and result in billions of dollars of 
illicit cash flowing to transnational criminal organizations on the 
Mexican side of the border. These organizations are described best in 
one word: evil.
  Over the last decade, Mexican drug cartels have been responsible for 
deaths of thousands of Mexicans, and their exports have killed 
thousands of Americans. Mexico prosecutes relatively few of the murders 
that occur on its soil.
  The cartels kill with impunity. They kill Catholic priests. They kill 
journalists. They kill students. They kill politicians. They have 
killed U.S. agents. And they kill each other. The rule of law has been 
replaced in many Mexican states with the law of violence, revenge, and 
brutal force.
  Headlines over the past 2 years tell the story: National Catholic 
Register, May 22, 2018: ``Why Is Mexico the Deadliest Place to Be a 
  The New York Times, December 21, 2017: ``Most Lethal to Journalists: 
1. War Zones 2. Mexico.''
  CNN, July 2, 2018: ``Mexico goes to the polls . . . 132 politicians 
have been killed since campaigning began.''
  The Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2018: ```It's a Crisis of 
Civilization in Mexico.' 250,000 Dead. 37,400 Missing.''
  Progress against the cartels has been too slow, but there have been 
some encouraging developments. The trial of the alleged head of the 
Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin ``El Chapo'' Guzman, is underway in New York. 
Within the last month, the Department of Justice indicted individuals 
affiliated with the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel, but those 
individuals remain at large.
  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also recently announced it 
was joining with State and local officials in Chicago specifically to 
go after Mexican cartels, which have played a role in the violence that 
plagues that community, a community that is 1,500 miles from the 
  In announcing the action, the DEA said: ``There is no single entity 
or solution that can stop the flow of dangerous illicit drugs like 
heroin and fentanyl into Chicago or to keep them from harming the 
citizens of this great city. . . . To be clear, these drugs are being 
produced, manufactured, and trafficked by various Mexican cartels to 
numerous parts of the United States and elsewhere in the world.''
  Yes, Mr. Speaker, the border issue does not just affect California, 
Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It affects the entire Nation, including 
my district in western Pennsylvania.
  Our two countries have not done enough to combat the epidemic of 
drugs and violence. It is an epidemic that has left mothers, fathers, 
brothers, and sisters on both sides of the border steeped in grief.
  There is no single solution to this evil. But one tool is available, 
and that is the force of our will. It is an act of the will to stop the 
transfer of drugs northbound into the United States and the transfer of 
illicit cash southbound into Mexico.
  A secure border is a necessary prerequisite to this end. That secure 
border requires not only, where appropriate, physical barriers. It also 
requires significantly increased capacity for inspecting vehicles 
traveling between the United States and Mexico at our ports of entry.
  More inspection lanes, more equipment, and more personnel were 
prescribed in the Securing America's Future Act. If we are serious 
about securing the border, that bill should accompany any 
appropriations language we pass this month.
  As the 115th Congress draws to a close, let us take one more vital 
step to ending the drug crisis and bring peace to Mexico and 
communities across the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, let's secure our border.