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Pearce, O'Rourke agree on defense, border security needs

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Friday, May 10, 2013 - 10:53pm

In today's climate of political wrangling, there was an odd sighting in Downtown El Paso Friday.

Sitting at the same table was Republican U.S. Rep Steve Pearce next to Democrat U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

This was planned, of course, to illustrate that opposing parties can come together at the same table and find similarities to build on.

Both Pearce and O'Rourke say they agree investing in Fort Bliss and surrounding military installations is smart business for the U.S. Defense's budget, because the borderland has a lower cost-of-living than other areas of the country.

They also both agree that agencies really don't know how secure our border is, because there isn't a quantitative way to measure it.

Some rely on deportation numbers and apprehensions, while others rely on the drug trade for insight.

"We can always measure if the border is more secure or is not secure by the price of illegal drugs on the streets," said Pearce. "If the price is skyrocketing, then you know you've interrupted the supply. If the price is stable, then you probably know not much has changed," he said.

Both agree that if Washington D.C. really knew how secure the border was, there would be more progress from politicians.

"If we can do that, then we can move past this as an issue and focus on comprehensive immigration reform, focus on facilitating trade between our two nations," said O'Rourke.

Both agree that once cross-border trade improves, our local economy will improve.

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