WASHINGTON – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today released the following statement on President Biden’s executive actions impacting homeland and border security:
“While still imperfect, I supported the Trump Administration’s revised executive actions to prevent foreign terrorist entry into the United States, because there were clear homeland security gaps in our vetting process that had been left unaddressed for far too long. Each country on the revised list was added for a specific reason, including those restricted by Congress from the Visa Waiver Program, designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism, and determined to be countries of concern for travel purposes by the Obama Administration. While some progress has been made, the action by the Biden Administration today is a knee-jerk, blanket repeal that fails to consider long-term consequences. We cannot put politics ahead of our national security. I firmly believe we should first renew efforts to address information sharing gaps that hinder foreign traveler vetting. An outright reversal only makes our country less safe.
“Reprogramming DoD funds for border wall construction was never an appropriate solution, but I believe it is imperative that the Biden Administration continue the steady progress on our border wall system, including projects that have already been funded. Securing the sovereignty and integrity of our territorial borders should not be controversial, and was not to President Biden when he previously voted in favor of the construction of hundreds of miles of fence along the Southwest Border. I sincerely hope today’s executive actions do not signal a dangerous shift to an open border policy in the months ahead. Rest assured that I will be a leading voice on the importance of a secure border, advocating for common-sense solutions championed by the men and women on the frontlines in the effort to secure our borders which includes a combination of infrastructure and technology. I will continue to work with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure this important homeland security mission is not weakened or ignored.”