Rep. John Carter said on Friday that complete border security in the United States is impossible as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
“Anybody that thinks you can totally secure the Southern border has never been to the Southern border,” the Texas Republican told The Hill
. “I've been down there all my life, and I'm telling you, you can have a 40-foot wall and put machine guns on it, and you can't secure the Southern border. There's too much wild country.
“North of Del Rio to the Big Bend is as wild and rugged a country as there is in the United States,” Carter added, “and it's all owned by private individuals.”
Carter’s remarks came a day after the Senate passed sweeping immigration legislation, sending it to the House of Representatives.
The bill included amendments from another Texas Republican, Sen. John Cornyn, that would require 100 percent border surveillance and a 90 percent apprehension rate of illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border before permanent legal status would be granted to 11 million illegals living in the country.
But the Senate legislation, while it targets those goals, does not require the Department of Homeland Security to meet them before granting residency, the Hill reports.
And Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky proposed even tougher standards: 100 percent surveillance and a 95 percent apprehension rate. The amendment was voted down.
Carter told the Hill that the immigration reform bill he is working on with six other House members — four Democrats and two Republicans — included “certain triggers” that “have to be met” before the other provisions take effect.
“Border security triggers the rest of the bill,” Carter explained, declining to provide further details to the publication.
“You'll see. We're almost there.”
The bill, Carter added, would not provide a new pathway to citizenship for illegals, the publication reports.
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