By BOB PALMER,
PART 2 OF TWO PARTS
U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Heath, told the “Jimplecute” last week he backs a ‘layered’ approach to border security including President Trump’s border wall in areas where it is practical. “I’m in favor of a border wall where one can be built and where it makes sense economically. I’m in favor of border security measures everywhere across the border,” Ratcliffe said. “I guess another way of saying that is in some places a wall makes the most sense. Ratcliffe indicated support for what he termed “a layered approach” to securing the Southern border.
“In some places it’s other border security measures, meaning more higher concentration of border patrol agents and in some cases, it’s taking advantage of aerial and subterranean technologies.” The policy of separating families attempting to cross the border does not meet with Ratcliffe’s approval,” he explained.
“I was not one that was in favor of separating families at the border,” Ratcliffe said. “Lot of folks tried to say that was a Trump policy. It wasn’t. It was a policy of prior administrations as well.” Ratcliffe believes Trump has listened to his constituency and adjusted the policy. The former US Attorney who has ordered ICE raids scoffed at calls to eliminate that agency.
“With respect to calls to eliminate ICE, I’m just going to officially leave it at the kindest way I can say it. It would be dangerous and nonsensical,” Ratcliffe said. The two-term Republican congressman also amplified in an exclusive interview with the “Jimplecute” his position on the National Heritage Area that had been proposed for Caddo Lake. “We heard from a number of constituents that thought there was some sort of effort to take property rights away from individual citizens,” Ratcliffe said of the bill sponsored by himself and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler.
“We’d be the last folks that would support legislation that did something to that effect.” Although Ratcliffe indicated he saw little danger in the proposed legislation, Gohmert and he listened to the area residents. “Part of your job as a representative is to listen to your constituents,” Ratcliffe said. “Congressman Gohmert and I talked about it and he felt like the majority of folks that he was hearing from were opposed to it, so he withdrew his sponsorship of that legislation.”
With a comfortable 50-point lead in some polls, Ratcliffe says he does not take the November General Election for granted. “I ran for congress really because I wanted to engage in democracy in the way that it’s meant to be – the spirited exchange of ideas,” Ratcliffe said. “This is how I can impact the 750,000 people that I represent. If you look at where we were at two years ago verses where we are at right now, “I can look my constituents in the eye and say that nine out of ten people that are getting paychecks are getting bigger paychecks because the economy is growing at twice the rate. Job openings are up. Wages are up. Retail sales are up. Home sales are up. Productivity and manufacturing are up. At the same time unemployment is down at record low.”
Ratcliffe wants to see an end to US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I think I would share the position that the president is currently taking which, in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, we have been there long enough,” Ratcliffe said. “So long as we can eliminate or minimize our military involvement including air strikes in certain places, we should do that as feasibly as possible. I think we’re closer to being able to do that and not create a dangerous vacuum in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Ratcliffe did not see a federal issue, however, concerning police shootings of unarmed black males. “Obviously when those situations occur we need to look at what are the exact circumstances, but I don’t want to legislate to address isolated problems if it’s not a systemic problem,” Ratcliffe explained. “I’m a law enforcement guy, and I have seen a prior administration target law enforcement officials rather than give them the resources they need to keep our community safe.”
Ratcliffe pointed toward the successful prosecution of a Dallas police officer as evidence the situation is best handled on the local level. For Part 1 of the Jimplecute’s interview with Rep. Ratcliff see our October 18 issue. A transcript of the full interview and a recording of the interview are on the Jimplecute web site, www.Jimplecute1848.com.
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