WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today issued the following statement after touring a border wall construction site just outside of El Paso, Texas, where he was joined by Representative Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

“The President’s border wall is a misuse of Department of Defense dollars – plain and simple. Before visiting the border construction site, we were briefed by leaders from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the United States Army North Command, and the Texas National Guard. While I agree that there is a crisis at the border, which was created in part by the Trump Administration’s policies, we have already provided millions of dollars for border security measures, including funds for physical barriers, through the appropriate process. The wall the president is so desperate to build, which he is willing to sacrifice national security for, is not effective and does nothing to address the children and families seeking asylum.

“I am glad to have visited the border to see this challenge firsthand, and I am deeply appreciative of my colleague Representative Escobar’s leadership on this issue, both in her community and in Congress.

“It is past time for us to focus on immigration policies that acknowledge the dignity and humanity of asylum seekers, while making America a safer more prosperous place. It has been, and continues to be, obvious to me that stealing Pentagon funding for a border wall is both wasteful and counterproductive.”