Congresswoman Porter believes that border security and strong, thoughtful immigration policies are essential for our country. She is fighting to improve the security of our nation’s borders and making sure the treatment of detainees is fair and consistent with our values.
During her first year in office, Congresswoman Porter visited the U.S.–Mexico border to see the operations and conditions firsthand. As a part of this trip, she visited Otay Mesa Detention Center, the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station, and the non-profit San Diego Rapid Response Network migrant family shelter. While there, she spoke to border patrol agents, immigration enforcement officials, social workers, medical professionals, immigration advocates, and detainees—including children.
From conversations and observation, Congresswoman Porter learned about the conditions and practices at these facilities that were done well and what needed improvement. The agents told Congresswoman Porter they need more training and medical personnel to do their jobs effectively. For more information about her visit, please see this video. Rep. Porter joined the House of Representatives in passing the Homeland Security Improvement Act, which would establish a new top-level federal position to oversee policy compliance for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It would also create a Border Oversight Panel to make recommendations regarding border enforcement policy and programs that directly impact border communities.
To address humanitarian concerns, Congresswoman Porter joined the House of Representatives in passing legislation to ensure that detainees are treated humanely and get the medical care they need. The Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act would ensure that CBP’s border facilities are equipped to meet basic humanitarian standards of care, like providing sufficient drinking water and basic personal hygiene products. The U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act would improve the medical screening process at the border and establish an electronic health record (EHR) system to track the medical information of all individuals in custody.
Congresswoman Porter recognizes that improving technology at our borders can help improve security. She has affirmed the need to hold companies operating for-profit detention centers accountable to ensure that the decisions that they make are in the best interest of the public and not in service of corporate greed.