By Oregon Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer,
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Secure the Border Act of 2023. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) released the following statement after voting in favor of the legislation:
“One of the most critical responsibilities of the federal government is to provide for the common defense. Right now, it is a sad fact that cartels are running the show along our southern border, which poses a grave threat to our national security. I saw it first hand when I met with local leaders and law enforcement at the Tucson sector earlier this year. Fentanyl and other narcotics are being smuggled across our broken border and poisoning Oregonians – including our teenagers and young adults – while drug cartels rake in millions.
“In addition to turning every state into a border state, the crisis at our southern border is a humanitarian issue that has put the lives of migrants at risk. Too many Latina women and children are facing abuse during their attempts to enter the U.S. As a mother, as a Christian, and as a human being, this is tragic and inexcusable. We must put a stop to the atrocities taking place at the hands of smugglers and cartels, and that starts by putting clear and concise border security and immigration measures into practice to restore order.
“When the initial proposal included E-Verify provisions that threatened to destabilize our agriculture workforce, I worked with several of my colleagues to include clarifying language that would prevent abrupt changes from harming Oregon farmers and ranchers. While I was glad House leadership listened to these concerns, I also believe this legislation could have gone further and provided a pathway to lawful permanent residence for noncitizens brought to the U.S. as children. They deserve stability and a fair chance, and this is an issue I’ll be addressing moving forward.
“I promised Oregonians that one of my top priorities would be tackling the border crisis, and today I have fulfilled that promise. As the granddaughter of immigrants, I’ll continue working to ensure future generations are afforded the same opportunities that my family had by encouraging safe and legal immigration,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
In February, Chavez-DeRemer met with local leaders and law enforcement at the southern border in Tucson, Arizona. She outlined the impact of the border crisis on the 5th District, including a report of a record-breaking fentanyl bust in Oregon City last year. Following these meetings, she immediately took steps to deter fentanyl trafficking and protect law enforcement.