Border congressman pushing for technology over physical barriers

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Will we soon see a wall? The House Homeland Security Committee recently passed widespread border security legislation that would outline a U.S. plan to protect U.S. borders. Only Republicans voted for the legislation, but not all conservatives are on the same page when it comes to border security. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) says there are many more effective ways to secure our border than building a wall.

Rep. Hurd says a wall from sea to shining sea is not the answer for border security.

“Let’s only build things that make sense in certain places,” said Hurd.

Border Security for America is the name and mission of legislation moving through the House of Representatives. Hurd’s district covers a lot of U.S.-Mexico border. He says a wall makes sense in some places, but we need to modernize when it comes to protection.

“We should be looking at every mile different from other miles. You can’t have a one-size-fits-all solution to border security,” said Hurd.

Hurd tacked on the use of a “Smart Wall” to the legislation that he’s supporting. He wants to use technologies like radar, LIDAR and cameras rather than a physical barrier in many locations.

“We should be focused on outcomes, securing our border, rather than focusing on one piece of technology,” said Hurd.

Some conservatives say the legislation passed in the House Homeland Security Committee isn’t sufficient. There is a concern that Congress isn’t doing enough to fund the wall.

“The president already has the authority to build the wall, Congress just needs to fund it,” said RJ Hauman from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

He says past legislation allows the president to bring his campaign promise to fruition, but he needs money from Congress for that to happen. Hauman says he thinks all sides could come to a deal that funds the wall and provides protections for undocumented immigrant children.

“It’s negotiating. It’s strictly a negotiating tactic,” said Hauman.

The legislation is awaiting a vote by the full House. In Washington, I’m Peter Zampa.

Congressman Hurd’s House race opponent Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, said in a statement: “Our immigration system has been broken for a long time. The failure of Republicans like Will Hurd to deliver on a fair and accountable system has hurt too many Texas families for too long. We need more than a technical fix to one aspect of this challenge - we need a real fix to the system that lets people come out of the shadows, stop living in fear, and become part of our society."

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