Technology a better border solution than walls, Cleaver says

Bill Grady
January 23, 2019 - 4:46 am

Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver says he is not opposed to a physical barrier at some points on the U.S./Mexico border, but he said spending nearly $6 billion on a wall does not make sense to him. 

Cleaver was in Kansas City Tuesday to thank people who are helping furloughed federal workers in the area. The partial federal government shutdown is now more than a month old as President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats remain at a stalemate over funding for a section of border wall.

One of the president's concerns is the enormous amount of narcotics that cross the southern border.

"It's not like they're swimming across the Rio Grande, they're coming in in automobiles," Cleaver said. "What we need to do is invest in equipment that can detect drugs in automobiles and all the places drugs are hidden."

Cleaver said technology to detect contraband is readily available. 

Also attending an event Tuesday for furloughed workers at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority headquarters was new Kansas District 3 Rep. Sharice Davids and Kansas City Mayor Sly James. 

"We really can't hold peoples' lives hostage to make a needless political point, we just can't," said James said.

The KCATA is temporarily offering free rides to furloughed workers while the shutdown lasts.

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