Will Hurd: U.S. Must Streamline Immigration Procedures
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd said leaders must address the immigration crisis at our southern borders and also called for more streamlined procedures to allow legal immigration during a lecture at Texas A&M University Wednesday night.
Hurd, a 2000 graduate of Texas A&M serving the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, shared his thoughts during an installment of the Mosbacher Institute For Trade, Economics and Public Policy’s Conversation in Public Policy series sponsored by the Bush School Of Government & Public Service.
Hurd said the U.S. should pay particular attention to what he called the triangle of three countries – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – and the thousands of people fleeing those nations who are trying to enter the U.S.
“You have to ask yourself just how bad their situation must be if they are willing to leave their homes and travel 2,300 miles from Central America and trying to enter South Texas,” Hurd said, adding that cutting off American aid to those countries would “be a bad idea.”
“We have seen how immigration has shifted,” he said. “About 20 years ago, the typical immigrant trying to cross our borders was a single adult male. Today, 80 percent of them are families with young children. That’s a big change.”
Hurd said history shows that the U.S. has greatly prospered due its immigrants.
“For 243 years, we have greatly benefitted from the ‘brain drain’ of other countries,” he said. “I want that to continue.”
Hurd, a San Antonio native, was a computer science major at Texas A&M and served as student body president during the 1999 Bonfire collapse.
After graduation, he joined the CIA and was an undercover agent in the Middle East and South Asia for 10 years. He left the CIA and worked for a cybersecurity firm. He was elected as a representative of the 23rd Congressional District that includes San Antonio and has served on the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform and previously chaired the Information Technology Subcommittee and also served on Homeland Security Committee.
He recently announced that he would not seek a fourth term representing the 23rd Congressional District that stretches from San Antonio to near El Paso, added that he “still has 14 months left, and that’s a long time.”
He is one of only two African-American Republican members of Congress, the other being Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Recalling the Bonfire collapse, Hurd said the tragic day taught him to reflect on life and how precious it is.
“No one will ever forget that terrible day,” he said. “I try to maximize my opportunities and my time, because those that died that day never got that chance. We all need to make the most of our time.”