Rep. Gabe Vasquez Stands Firm in Supporting Sunland Park Children Amid Border Disruptions


On Tuesday, April 2, U.S. Representative Gabe Vasquez (N.M.-02) released the following statement amidst the recent disruptions caused by migrant crossings in Sunland Park. As a border Representative who has lived on both sides of the US-Mexico border, Vasquez is uniquely positioned to understand the complexities of this issue and is working across the aisle to implement meaningful solutions, despite the lack of progress from Republican leadership.

In February, Vasquez met with Gadsden Independent School District Superintendent Travis Dempsey to discuss the impact of migrant activity on local schools. Vasquez recognized the critical importance of ensuring children have a safe place to learn.

Vasquez’s statement reads:

“Since taking office, I have taken proactive steps to address the challenges at our border by urging House Leadership to provide emergency funding to improve security at our southern border, emphasizing the urgent need to repair our broken immigration system while providing the resources to ensure the safety and security of our communities.

“Just two weeks ago, I voted to pass the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill which provided these much-needed resources to help solve these pressing challenges.

“Ensuring the safety of our communities will always be my top priority. That’s why I introduced a package of common-sense bills that address different parts of our immigration system and the humanitarian crisis we face at the border. I have introduced legislation to hold the cartels accountable and am writing more to specifically support school children who have been targeted for drug smuggling.

“But enough is enough. I am tired of MAGA Republicans exploiting this issue for political gain while failing to deliver tangible solutions. That’s why I have fought tirelessly to secure overtime pay for Customs and Border Protection agents in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“I will continue to work closely with Sheriff Stewart, Superintendent Dempsey and other local leaders to identify and implement effective solutions to ensure that our schools remain safe spaces for learning. Our kids deserve nothing less.

“No child should ever have to go to school in fear of a lockdown. I am committed to standing firm against coyotes, cartels and other criminal entities to provide our children with the safe and nurturing learning environments they deserve.”

Today, Vasquez sent a letter to DHS Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more resources and agents to the Gadsden Independent School District to ensure students’ school days are no longer interrupted.

Full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas The Honorable Troy A. Miller

Secretary Commissioner

Dear Secretary Mayorkas and Commissioner Miller,

I am writing to request that you urgently provide federal resources to assist the Gadsden Independent School District following repeated school lockdowns as a result of immigration activity. Students have a right to a safe learning environment and parents must know that their children are safe and protected while at school.

Over the past few months, students within the Gadsden Independent School District have faced repeated lockdowns when unauthorized individuals have entered the schools. Most recently, following unlawful entry into the United States, individuals sought to evade detection by U.S. Border Patrol by entering Santa Teresa Middle School, prompting a second school lockdown in the span of a week.

Public schools should be a safe space for our children to learn and grow and having these students face repeated lockdowns in the face of law enforcement activity is unacceptable. We must do more to ensure the safety of our students and families.

In light of these recent events, I am requesting that your department provide the necessary resources and agents in partnership with the Gadsden Independent School District to ensure that these lockdown events do not occur again. This should include providing dedicated agents stationed near the school to ensure that unauthorized individuals are not able to interrupt school activities.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter and I look forward to working together to ensure the safety and security of our students in New Mexico’s border communities.


Gabe Vasquez

Member of Congress

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