Texas Sen. John Cornyn outlined a border security proposal on Thursday that, unlike the president’s signature proposal, does not focus on building a border wall that would fence off the entire Texas-Mexico boundary. Instead, he wants to develop a comprehensive plan, which would likely entail adding border patrol agents and using technology to find and apprehend immigrants as they cross the border.
Tom Benning, a Washington-based reporter for the Dallas Morning News, says Cornyn has long been skeptical of relying on the kind of wall advocated by the president as a primary tool for border security.
“Sen. Cornyn is saying, ‘Let’s step back and come up with a plan for a multifaceted approach to border security before we start tossing dollars at things,’” Benning says.
Cornyn’s bill comes with a $15 billion price tag. Benning says Cornyn hasn’t been specific about where the funds would come from.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Austin) unveiled his own border security proposal last week. Benning says it is similar to Cornyn’s plan.
A big difference, Benning says, is that Cornyn’s bill goes after so-called “sanctuary cities” where local law enforcement has refused to hold prisoners wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. Cornyn wants to withhold federal funds from such communities, even if the money supports programs unrelated to border security or law enforcement.
Benning says that Cornyn's and McCaul’s senior roles in Congress give their bills a greater chance of serious consideration.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.