Senators question Customs and Border Protection commissioner

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The Senate Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing with the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Tuesday and the high cost of the proposed wall was a main topic discussed. 

Senators questioned the Customs and Border Protection (CBD) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan 

“Has CBP ever fired tear gas at young children at the border prior to November 25th?” asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California.

McAleenan replied, “Just to clarify senator, we did not fire tear gas at young children.”

Senators focused on border security and if the migrant caravans are dangerous.

“Does the caravan include some dangerous criminals?,” asked Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

The CBP commissioner said the caravans vary, but he believes a border wall would be helpful.

The high cost of the wall, which includes buying privately owned land, is a concern for some Republican Senators. 

“Why does this wall slash fence slash barrier cost $25 million a mile?” asked Sen. John Kennedy. R-Louisianna. 

The cost of the wall varies between $5 and $25 million per mile, depending on the terrain and technology used according to the commissioner’s testimony.

Rather than focusing on an expensive border wall, Democratic Senators want to know why CBP and the Trump Administration don’t focus more on stopping fentanyl from coming into the country. 

Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois said the deadly drug is coming to the U.S. from China in the mail, on cargo ships and across legal border crossings

In the recently signed opioid bill, there is a provision to try to detect and stop the fentanyl from overseas.

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