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Ernst discusses immigration during visit in Estherville

October 26, 2018
Jennifer Astello - Correspondent , Estherville News

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst visited Estherville this past Tuesday. She spoke about several issues, including immigration.

Senator Ernst asserted that America was built by immigrants. The Trump administration and Senator Ernst believe that those entering the country should go through the proper processing.

"We do have a number of folks that will look at anybody that is anything other than Caucasian and think, 'oh well you're not American,' and that is ignorant," said Senator Ernst. "One thing that I do think would help with that situation is border security. I really do think that if we're controlling our borders and proper immigration then there would be a greater sense of security in The United States and that will give people the sense of, oh people that are here belong here or have a right to be here."

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Border security is a very hot topic in America right now, and not just the southern borders. Ernst said that all of America's borders should be protected and secured to prevent all sorts of horrible crimes from happening in the country.

"Something that I am very sensitive to is national security," Senator Ernst said. "And so a lot of people will laugh if I say we have a threat from terrorism people coming in, not just our southern border but all of our borders. One thing that I encounter anytime I get this question in a town hall, a lot of people will say, 'Open borders, open to everyone,' then I always say, then you're okay with human trafficking, you're okay with sex trafficking over the border, you're ok with illegal drugs coming over the border, you're okay with weapons trafficking over the border. That makes it much easier to do that when we have open borders."

Ernst's passion for National Security is evident as she speaks, but also understanding to really help America battle the immigration problems at the roots you must see the reasons why America is so desirable to so many people. To heal the problem at the root source, Ernst understands that America could take steps to heal the hurting nations by helping them where they hurt.

"There are four different pillars that we use in the military and really when we are working with National Security," said Senator Ernst. "Diplomacy is one, so we need to work with other nations and help the leadership in some of those other nations, if they are willing. Information is always important, so providing information and the tools necessary to teach them maybe different agricultural or manufacturing techniques sharing that knowledge base. Military option, if there are certain ways, and we've seen this in the Middle East, where we've tried to stabilize to protect our own nation and that is always kind of a last resort. But then economics, if there are ways that we can provide support to keep those nations stable they're much less likely to export their people to The United States or provide an unstable situation where they are actually a threat to the United States."

Ernst tours Holiday Express

Tuesday, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst visited Holiday Express Trucking Company in Estherville. She toured the facility, as she walked out to the shop she breathed in deep and said "I love the smell of machine shops."

Ernst visited Algona's Hormel plant prior to stopping in Estherville. She said smelling Hormel made her hungry for a pepperoni pizza. She was then offered refreshments prepared by Holiday Express, meat, cheese, crackers, water and coffee took the edge off her Hormel craving.

Senator Ernst has spent over 23 years serving in the United States Military and now she serves as the first female combat veteran on the United States Senate.

Trucking is very near and dear to Ernst's heart she explained that she drove truck at the beginning of the Iraq war.

"We would get our missions assigned and we were running 24 hour ops," said Ernst. "And we would go stage our trucks at a warehouse somewhere in Kuwait, and just depending on where you were on priority our drivers could sit 8-10 hours before they got loaded and of course even loading was an issue because we didn't have enough wrenches or forklifts."

Ernst went on to say, she loaded Saddam's Hussein's gold and other unimaginable things.

Ernst was relating with the trucking company as Sheila Schichtl, Safety Manager at Holiday Express Trucking Company, laid out safety concerns for their truck drivers.

Merle "Bubs" Johnson, owner of the trucking company, explained to Ernst how the trucking companies are being over regulated and causing a whole lot of trouble. Last year at this time they had an "unsafe driving score that was in the single digits."

"Today we are at 40 percent (for an un-safe driving score.) We are seeing more speeding and our drivers admit that they are driving faster because they are trying to meet the deadlines for the day," said Schichtl.

Schichtl explained how the over regulating is having a very negative effect on their company and the trucking company as a whole and her drivers are more stressed.



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