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Border State Lawmakers: Focus On Trade, Not Fence

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Border State Lawmakers: Focus On Trade, Not Fence

Border State Lawmakers: Focus On Trade, Not Fence

The effort was lead by freshman Congressman Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat from El Paso, Texas. He was joined by Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.).

Together they highlighted the six million jobs tied to trade with Mexico. They said border crossings have been neglected in favor of record spending on border patrol and fencing.

"Our ports of entry are in various states of disarray because of underfunding for improvement and modernization projects," Davis said.

Increased border security is seen by some as a way to court conservative votes in favor of immigration reform, which faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives.

The Senate is expected to vote this week on its version of immigration reform.