Lawmakers spoke with 6th District Representative David Trone.
Annapolis, Md. (KM) – The hot button topic of immigration was discussed Friday during the Frederick County Legislative Delegation Meeting. Representative David Trone (6th-Md.) was a guest at the meeting, and he said the nation needs secure borders. “If we don’t have secure borders, how do we have the country. The country has to have secure borders,” he said. “We can argue all day is the wall an answer; is the answer technology. The answer is complicated as the dickens.”
Although a Democrat, Trone said the current administration has been ineffective in keeping the borders secure. “The Biden Administration has not done enough; is not focused enough; has not been successful. And we’ve not gotten what we need to get at that border,” he says.
He said “a mix of things” need to be done. It could be a border wall, technology or drones. “We’ve got great technology,” he said.
Trone said he and other Congress members have visited the US–Mexico border and seen Customs and Border Patrol agents in action. He said “we’ve got great people down there.”
Part of the problem, Trone said, was appropriations. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, he said all traffic from Mexico into the US was stopped. That result in less appropriations for border patrol agents. But the drugs kept coming into the US. He says the CBP’s funding is based on the amount of activity at the border.
During the meeting, Delegate Barrie Cilliberti (R) talked about the effectiveness of a wall, citing the example of the Berlin Wall. . “I was in Berlin before the wall went up 1963, I believe. And East Berlin, Communist Berlin, was losing something like 10,000 people a month, moving from Communist east to freedom west. But once that wall went up, it stopped,” he said. “The walls work, not necessarily in a positive sense or a negative sense. But damn it, walls will work!”
Congressman Trone acknowledged that the Berlin Wall kept people from fleeing East Germany. But he said the line between Mexico and the US is much longer than that between East Berlin and West Berlin. “It’s a little bit different situation when we have such a huge border which makes it such a challenge,”: Trone responded. “It’s a pretty big border versus the city of Berlin.”
State Senator Ron Young (D) talked about the real reason the Berlin Wall was constructed in the 1960’s. “The Berlin Wall, that was to keep freedom away from people. It wasn’t a good wall and that’s why Reagan said take that wall down,” Young said. “We need secure borders. But we’ve got to look at immigration policy.”
Senator Young was referring to then-President Ronald Reagan who made a speech in front of the Berlin Wall with this famous quote: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” addressing his comments to Mikhail Gorbachev., the leader of the Soviet Union at that time.
The Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Shortly afterward, Germany reunited. The Soviet Union came apart in the early 1990’s.
On the issue of immigration reform, Senator Young said it shouldn’t just concentrate on keeping people out, but making it easier for immigrants to come to the US legally. “We’ve got to have policies to let people in some legal way,” he said. “Many of the people who come to the border in Mexico come and do the proper thing, and get treated like they’re trying to run through the wall or cross the border.”