WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed is calling for the government to cease its shutdown by making bipartisan efforts to bolster border security.
During a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Reed highlighted how two younger people recently passed away at the U.S-Mexico border, as well as a cop killed by an illegal immigrant at the border.
“This (the deaths) speaks volumes to the need to fix the border, and make it secure, and get this government reopened in a way that not only funds border security, but could potentially take care of other immigration reform,” Reed said. “If you have a functioning and secure border, that is something that I think can bring people together to get 218 votes in the House, as well as 60 votes in the Senate.”
“I encourage folks to reflect on those tragic losses of life, and use that as inspiration and as a basis for us to come together as fellow American citizens to fix this problem of a broken immigration system.”
Reed said that he believes that a package can be created that would benefit both Republicans and Democrats, especially when Congress can get through “the political theater.”
The Congressman added that he believes there are groups of politicians on both sides of the aisle that have demonstrated “extremism,” particularly in regards to the border wall that President Donald Trump is seeking.
“You have a very vocal minority in each of the parties that tend to get wrapped around issues, such as the symbol of the wall,” Reed said. “It becomes something where Democrats will not compromise in regards to those who are of this extreme portion on the left, and think getting in on the wall would be very disconcerting to them. On the right, there seems to be people who thinks there should be a wall from coast to coast, and that’s just not practical.”
Reed said the wall should be placed at parts of the border, while other parts can remain untouched due to various geographical barriers. He added that some of the money, as part of a potential deal, should be allocated towards technology and other aspects of border security.
Reed said he’s trying to become a voice that seeks common ground, and he called the stalemate a “foolish, symbolic” fight. The Congressman added that both sides are seeking to win despite the various human tragedies.
“It is concerning that this political environment has become 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s all about the next election,” Reed said.
Reed said he believes the government will be back up and running sooner rather than later.
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