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February 17, 2018

Friends,

Last week, Renee and I joined so many of our fellow North Carolinians in mourning the passing of my friend, Congressman Walter Jones. We continue to pray for his wife, Joe Anne, their daughter Ashley, and their entire family. I was honored to attend his funeral with my colleagues in the North Carolina delegation. During the service, we paid tribute to his decades of service – in the North Carolina National Guard, our General Assembly, and finally, in Congress. He was a man of character and strong faith who made caring for our men and women in uniform a top priority — he will indeed be missed.
 
After attending the funeral, I made the trip to Washington to vote on a spending bill. You might have heard about it by now, but I wanted to share with you my thoughts and why I voted against it. I believe the spending bill passed by Congress fails to make border security a priority while significantly increasing government spending that’s not critical to our national security.
 
The bill provides just over $1 billion for new border fences – less than a quarter of President Donald Trump’s request. At the same time, it could hinder ICE’s ability to hold criminal illegal immigrants by seeking to cut the average daily population in ICE detention by nearly 10,000. This is at a time when we have unprecedented waves of people trying to illegally cross our borders. The Deputy Director of ICE had this to say about reducing the amount of detention space, “…we will be forced to release criminal aliens in our custody…we will be limited in our ability to respond to state and local law enforcement agencies making arrests for these crimes…putting an artificial cap on the ability to detain individuals who pose threats will lead to disastrous results.” 
 
Unfortunately, it seems like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have no interest in securing our border and protecting our citizens. This bill wasn’t a compromise – it was barely a drop in the bucket. It’s a shame Pelosi and Schumer are unwilling to do what’s necessary to fix the national security and humanitarian crisis at our border, because it seems pretty straightforward that we’d want to stop human trafficking, the flow of drugs and illegal immigration across our southern border.
 
As your voice in Congress, I have repeatedly expressed my full support for President Trump’s goal to secure our border, and I strongly agree with the president that this should be done through Congress. Congress failed to act, and the president is now being forced to pursue executive authorities to address the crisis at our border. I have asked this administration not to tap into already appropriated military construction funds that our troops and their families need at places like Fort Bragg, where we still have millions of dollars in repairs needed from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.
 
Across the country, our military installations are facing aging infrastructure challenges which undermine the readiness and lethality of our Armed Forces. This past year, we provided $10.3 billion to address our vast military construction needs, ranging from supporting families with quality schools and housing to providing next-generation training capabilities. The investments we have already made are critical to the long-term stability of the military.
 
Again, it’s a shame President Trump is forced to have to use such extraordinary measure to secure our border when Congress could have — and should have — acted. Border security and fixing our broken immigration system shouldn’t be partisan issues; that just seems like common sense to me.

 

Until next week,

Richard Hudson

Member of Congress (NC-08)




 


 



 


 


 




 



 




 





 

 



 








 



 



 


 



 




 




 



 







 





 





 

 



 




 

 



 



 

 





 

 








 



 

 

 

 

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