WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, recently completed a bipartisan congressional delegation visit to assess the security needs and humanitarian challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border. Peters was joined on the official trip by U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the committee.
“I was grateful to have the opportunity to hear directly from the men and women on the ground about the new set of challenges they face in securing our Southern border,” said Senator Peters. “It’s clear that we need to rethink how to manage our borders and adapt to the changing populations and circumstances we face. These pressures are causing ripple effects across the country, including at Michigan’s Northern border. I’m working to secure additional resources and staff to help strengthen security, facilitate lawful international commerce and allow our frontline border security professionals to return to the line. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to find bipartisan solutions that help keep our country safe.”
During the visit, Peters met with officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, and participated in routine patrols with U.S. Border Patrol personnel. The delegation also received a briefing from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), discussed security challenges with local law enforcement officials, and met with non-governmental organizations assisting with humanitarian needs.
Senator Peters has long supported efforts to secure both the Northern and Southern borders and encourage safe international trade and travel. Earlier this year, Peters introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to address staffing shortages at ports of entry in Michigan and throughout the country. The legislation authorizes CBP to hire no less than 600 additional CBP officers a year until the agency fills its nearly 4,000 officer shortage.