Vice President Mike Pence Visits Houston’s ICE Office, Reiterates Trump’s Border Plan

Before his speech at Rice University, Pence stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in North Houston.

Vice President Mike Pence talks immigration concerns with Senator Ted Cruz, ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Mark Dawson and Homeland Security Investigations Chief Counsel Sarah Hartnett, among others.

During his visit to Houston on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices to talk about the influx of migrants at the border and local immigration concerns.

He reiterated President Trump's decision this week to back off shutting down the border with Mexico.

Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn had urged the president to reconsider that threat, saying it would devastate the Texas economy.

“We have great respect for Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn.” said Pence. “The president has made it clear, Mexico is stepping up. We’ve been very encouraged, frankly, by the efforts Mexico is taking along their southern border to deal with this migration driven by human traffickers and drug cartels.”

Pence said the White House will consider other steps like tariffs against Mexico first.

“The president’s made it clear that if over the course of the next year, if Mexico fails to act we’ll begin by considering tariffs that we impose on cars that come into our country and our president will consider closing portions of southern border,” said Pence.

Vice President Pence greets Houstonians after landing at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Air Force 2.

The vice president also met with top officials from ICE and said their hard work is keeping Texans safe.

"We're particularly proud of your colleagues just this week in the Dallas office of ICE Homeland Security Investigations arrested more than 280 people in the largest worksite operation at a single site in the last ten years, upholding the laws of our land.”

Wednesday federal immigration authorities arrested 284 employees at a technology repair company in a Dallas suburb on charges of working in the United States illegally.

Prior that raid, documents obtained by News 88.7 showed immigration arrests at work sites jumped nearly 4,000 percent statewide in 2018 compared to 2017.

Pence also urged Congress to act in response to the rise in families arriving to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pence said smugglers are using loopholes to exploit innocent children from Central America.

Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they were on track to apprehend more than 100,000 migrants at the border.

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Elizabeth Trovall

Elizabeth Trovall

Immigration Reporter

Elizabeth Trovall is an immigration reporter for Houston Public Media. She joined the News 88.7 team after several years abroad in Santiago, Chile, where she reported on business, energy, politics and culture. Trovall's work has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, Latino...

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