WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Greg Stanton spoke on the House floor this afternoon, urging his colleagues to work in good faith to invest in border security while modernizing our broken immigration system.

His remarks were ahead of a vote on H.R. 2, the so-called ‘Secure the Border Act’—a partisan effort that will weaken the nation’s border security by diverting law enforcement resources away from preventing drug trafficking and intercepting national security threats to detaining asylum seekers and criminalizing Dreamers.

Earlier today, Stanton led 43 of his colleagues in a letter to House leadership calling for meaningful bipartisan action to address the crisis at the southern border and strengthen our economy. [LINK]

Full text of Stanton’s speech is below. Video his speech is here. [LINK]


Mister Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2. I am deeply frustrated by this Administration’s failure to adequately prepare for the end of Title 42… and my constituents in Arizona are too.  They know the Administration could have and should have done more to prepare for this day. That’s the simple truth.

But the bill before us today does nothing to make border states like mine safer.

It does not ensure an orderly and humane legal asylum process. . . . and even makes it more difficult for refugees from countries like Cuba and Ukraine to seek asylum here..

It does not stop the flow of deadly drugs like fentanyl into our communities . . . in fact, it diverts law enforcement resources from going after drug traffickers and smugglers. 

This bill demands much more from Customs and Border Protection Officers. . . but does not provide the necessary funding for CBP to manage the surge of traffic, leaving our ports—and our nation—more vulnerable and less secure.

My colleagues on the other side of the aisle even want to eliminate federal funding that faith-based and local aid groups depend on to shelter, feed and clothe migrants.  Without those shelters, there would be even more street releases by Border Patrol into communities like Phoenix and Tucson. That’s inhumane. My amendment to strike that part of this bill . . . they wouldn’t even give it a vote. 

And make no mistake, if signed into law, H.R. 2 would hurt our economy, especially in Arizona.

Every employer I’ve met with in my district. . . from farmers to contractors to high-tech manufacturing companies. . .  tells me they can’t find enough skilled workers.  This bill does nothing to strengthen workforce pipelines—it actually makes hiring more difficult.

All of these things, Mister Speaker, show that this proposal isn’t serious.

Instead of sabotaging an already-broken immigration system, I invite my colleagues across the aisle to help us modernize it.  Common-sense reforms would help us rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, invest in domestic manufacturing, create jobs, improve trade with Mexico and combat inflation.

Now, my colleagues across the aisle say our first priority should be securing our southern border, and I agree.  The situation at our border is dire—there’s no getting around it, and Congress and the Administration must do more.  

But one of the best things we can do to secure the border is modernize the immigration system.  These are not incompatible goals. Any serious proposal must do both. 

I’m ready to work in good faith to find a path forward, and I’ll be waiting at the table when my colleagues across the aisle are ready to do the same.

I yield back.