Border Security and Immigration

Congresswoman Porter believes that border security and well-defined immigration policies are essential for our country. She will maintain the security of our nation’s borders and hold the government accountable to treat detainees with dignity and fairness 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. In August 2021, Congresswoman Porter visited the border for a second time, during which she traveled into Tijuana to visit a migrant shelter and toured the San Ysidro Port of Entry. During her visits, she spoke to border patrol agents, social workers, medical professionals, immigration advocates, and migrants—including children. 

Through these interactions, Congresswoman Porter learned about the conditions and practices at these facilities and the experiences migrants face when trying to seek asylum in the U.S. The agents told Congresswoman Porter they need more training and medical personnel to do their jobs effectively. After her visit, 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 (ICE). She also joined letters to the Biden Administration to address the work authorization backlog at USCIS and the possibility of a caseload transfer between USCIS service centers, which would help balance workloads and promote timely processing.

To address humanitarian concerns at the border, Congresswoman Porter also joined the House of Representatives in passing legislation to support fair treatment of detainees and improving the medical care we provide them. The Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act would better equip CBP’s border facilities 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 system to track the medical information of all individuals in custody.

Congresswoman Porter believes 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. She joined an effort to stop the expansion of ICE detention contracts, conduct a thorough review of ICE’s existing detention policies, and phase out the use of private, for-profit immigration facilities. 

Congresswoman Porter also believes that we need to fix our broken immigration system. She was a co-sponsor of the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, which requires Congress to act when the President uses emergency immigration powers. She also voted for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which provides additional workplace protections and a path to citizenship for the farm workers that are vital to California’s economy, and the Dream and Promise Act, which creates a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Congresswoman Porter believes that our immigration system—like all of government—needs to be humane and functional. She supports policies that would eliminate overcrowding at detention facilities, provide for speedy consideration of asylum applications, and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in the immigration system.