Download as MP3

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., is sponsoring an amendment to allow those who live along the border with Mexico to have a voice in decisions about border security.

In order to have a border security plan that works and is credible, border residents need to have a role in the process, Barber said in a speech to his colleagues this week.

“The people who know the land know the challenges, they know the canyons, they know the mountains, they know exactly how that land works," he said.

The amendment he is sponsoring would require the Department of Homeland Security to hold public meetings before drafting new policies, he said.

“The people I represent should have their say. One way to do it is to have public meeting," he said. "If their fingerprints aren’t on this strategy and on the metric we use to judge it, it would not have credibility.”

A government review last year found Border Patrol needed to do a better job of calculating risk and setting goals for security. Barber called for data collection on border security to be uniform.