Yesterday, as part of his tour of the Rio Grande Valley, Speaker Ryan met with nearly a dozen local leaders from throughout the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas to listen and learn more about the challenges they face in their communities along the southern border.

The speaker made clear that Congress is committed to securing the border by providing law enforcement professionals the tools and support they need to stop the flow of illegal immigration. He also recognized the importance of partnering with local communities to develop effective border security measures and solutions for cross-border trade.

The local leaders expressed their appreciation for Speaker Ryan and the congressional delegation spending time in South Texas to truly understand the complex set of issues involved with border security, especially as it relates to those communities closest to our southern border. They also encouraged the delegation to pursue economic policies that would lead to mutually beneficial relations between the United States and Mexico.

To that end, Speaker Ryan reaffirmed his commitment to modernizing trade agreements with our neighbors, and he highlighted the House Republican plan for tax reform, which would help level the playing field so that American job creators can compete with the rest of the world. 

In their own words:

Mayor Tony Martinez of Brownsville

"Speaker Ryan, on Wednesday afternoon, held a meeting with local leaders that, in my opinion, was the most productive to date, inasmuch as the conversation was truly an exchange of the reality that exists currently in the Rio Grande Valley."

Judge Eddie Trevino of Cameron County

"Ensuring and improving legitimate trade and travel across our borders must be the starting point for any reform efforts on border security, taxes and trade policy, and I appreciate the Speaker's genuine commitment to understanding the Rio Grande Valley's priorities as he navigates the start of this legislative process."

Mayor Chris Boswell of Harlingen

"It was important to the people of Harlingen who live, work and thrive here for the Speaker of the House to come and meet those in our community and have an open ear to our priorities and concerns.  He conveyed his desire to ensure the conversation will continue, and I appreciate his level-headed tone and approach to the discussion."

Judge Ramon Garcia of Hidalgo County

"The Speaker led by example, and I would encourage more Members of Congress to follow his lead and that of Senator Cornyn in coming to the border and educating themselves first so they think before they speak on issues of such importance to our country."

Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen

"The meeting with Speaker Ryan was a unique opportunity for our local government officials to give an in-person viewpoint of the impact of the recent and proposed federal actions on our citizens. Speaker Ryan and Chairman McCaul's participation in the discussion was both heartening and informative."

Judge Eloy Vera of Starr County

"I appreciate Speaker Ryan coming to the Rio Grande Valley and seeing first hand the people and lands on the front lines of the border security debate. It was clear to me he came here to learn, listen and cut through the rhetoric, and I look forward to our community working with him and our congressional delegation in the months ahead."