As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, one of my jobs is to work alongside my colleagues to see that the government is funded on time each year. It’s no secret that the process is far from perfect and Congress often falls short of executing this important responsibility in the way our founding fathers intended, but this year, I am glad to report that we have taken steps in the right direction.
As you may know, current government funding expires on December 7, and as of now, we have already funded 75 percent of the government under regular order. We have done our job to fund our military and the Department of Veterans Affairs on time, and now it is imperative that we build upon this positive momentum by properly funding the rest, including the Department of Homeland Security, in order to crack down on our country’s illegal immigration problem.
I’m sure you have seen the recent news reports about the caravan of individuals trying to force their way across our southern border. This situation is deeply troubling, and it is a direct threat to our national security. The unfortunate truth, however, is that this isn’t the first time something like this has occurred, and until we truly secure our border, it won’t be the last.
Let me be clear: Our immigration system is broken, and it badly needs to be reformed. But, any real, meaningful discussions about reforms to the existing system absolutely must begin with securing the border. As I always say, if you have a leak in your house, you don’t replace the drywall until you fix the leak. In the same way, we cannot attempt to solve the larger problem with our immigration system until we stop the flow of illegal immigrants across our border.
That’s why it is critical that Congress fully fund the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security and immigration, to provide the resources and tools necessary to secure the border, including President Trump’s request for a border wall. Last year, we put a down payment on construction of a wall along our southern border, and this year, it is our responsibility to direct additional funds towards this important measure and others.
With my seat on the House Appropriations Committee, I’m in a strong position to ensure that many of our Alabama priorities are properly funded from year to year. Border security is one of those priorities, and I am eager to get this important work done.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.