TUCSON – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today released the following statement welcoming Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to southern Arizona. Secretary Kelly, who announced his surprise visit last night, will visit the Border Patrol Station in Nogales, Arizona to meet with Governor Ducey and law enforcement officers.
“I welcome Secretary Kelly to Nogales, and while my Congressional office was not invited, I urge him to step outside of the Border Patrol Station and see our community first hand. If he does, he will see a local economy that relies on cross-border commerce. He will see a desert landscape arbitrarily split by a wall, blocking local wildlife from their natural migration patterns, and scarring the ecology of the entire region. And he will meet the people who call this region home. They truly understand the day-to-day experiences of living across the southern border. Perhaps he could even connect with the churches and individuals whose goodwill provides lifesaving relief to prevent migrant deaths in the desert.
“The sense of understanding and compassion that these experiences would provide is glaringly absent from this administration’s current immigration plans. I hope he takes time to fully understand the complexities of the borderlands, where trade, economic developments, community revenues, social justice, the environment and tribal governments all collide with Trump’s political rhetoric on locking down the border, deporting our neighbors and building more walls. If there is one message I hope Secretary Kelly absorbs, it’s that our borderlands are not as simple as this administration seems to think. I look forward to scheduling a meeting between the Secretary and myself, along with other members of Congress who represent the border in Congress.”