'This is personal' Rep. Burchett on border security

WASHINGTON (WVLT) -- Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on the need for increased border security and referenced the death of Pierce Corcoran.

Corcoran is the son of Knoxville Fire Department Chief D.J. Corcoran, and died in a car accident involving an Oak Ridge man who is a suspected undocumented immigrant.

Read the full text of his speech below.

"Madam Speaker:

Today I rise with a heavy heart to speak about my constituent, Pierce Corcoran. On December 29, 2018, Pierce was struck and killed by a vehicle operated by an undocumented immigrant in Knoxville.

This is a personal matter for me, because I have been friends with Pierce’s family for years, and they remain in my prayers. Pierce was an incredible, hardworking young man and will be deeply missed.

People want to come to our country for new opportunities and the pursuit of happiness, and this nation is full of incentives that attract not only legal, but also illegal immigrants. The most recent data shows that there are approximately 606,000 overstayed visa recipients, and 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants.

Removing incentives that encourage unlawful immigration and demagnetizing that attraction must be a priority for Congress moving forward.

With stronger laws and increased border security, tragedies like the one that occurred in my home district could be avoided, and families like Pierce’s might be saved from such a heartbreaking situation.

I yield back the balance of my time."