Tornillo Port of Entry | Photo Courtesy US Customs & Border Protection
After several weeks and months of hard work, Representative Will Hurd’s bill to rename the Tornillo POE after WWI hero Private Marcelino Serna passed the Senate late Tuesday night and is on its way to the President’s desk for his signature.
PVT Serna’s daughter, Gloria Serna, has received a call from Will letting her know the good news.
“The symbolism of a bridge connecting the two cities is powerful. The veteran community has been championing this issue for many years, and it is extremely satisfying to deliver on their wishes,” said Rep. Hurd who represents the Tornillo area where Serna lived. “The Tornillo-
Marcelino Serna Port of Entry will not only honor this extraordinary man’s service to our nation, it will serve as a reminder of the countless Hispanic-American immigrants who have fought valiantly to keep our nation safe.”
Rep. Hurd added that he was thrilled to have gotten the bill through Congress, as it’s not often that a bill with no cosponsors passes the House and the Senate with unanimous consent, but this is one of those times.
Hurd added, “My thanks to Senator John Cornyn for his efforts to move this bill through the Senate so that it can be sent to the President’s desk.”
“Private Serna’s dedication to his country is an inspiring example for all of us, and I’m proud to recognize his service at a such an important juncture for the U.S.-Mexico relationship,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m pleased to partner with Congressman Hurd in this effort to honor a valued member of the El Paso community and someone who truly went above and beyond the call of duty.”
Ms. Serna’s daughter, Laura Stopani, added, “I’m so happy that my grandfather is finally being honored. We are very proud of my grandfather. He was a good man, he didn’t do this for any recognition; he did all this for the love of his country. He came to this country, and he said ‘I’ll fight for it’ and he did, and we are very proud of him. We appreciate everything Representative Hurd has done to honor my grandfather very much. We are very grateful to Representative Hurd to have given my grandfather this honor.”
“On behalf of the American Legion Post 36, I am extremely grateful and proud that the proposal to rename the Tornillo Port of Entry after PVT Marcelino Serna was approved. It is even more gratifying to our post members because our First Vice Commander, Robert Serna is the hero’s nephew. Having the port of entry in Tornillo renamed after PVT Serna will bring attention to his life and his heroic accomplishments and will serve as a source of pride for citizens of both the United States and Mexico,” said Ruben Carrasco, Commander of the American Legion, Post 36 in El Paso.
“On behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 574, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10354, we express our appreciation for supporting HR 5252 (Naming of the port of entry to Marcelino Serna).The VVA and VFW both extend our thanks to our current Congress for the passing of this HR bill, as it means much to our El Paso, Texas community, as an honor that is way overdue,” submitted in a joint statement from Humberto Nevarez, President of the VVA Chapter 574, and Robert Rangel, Commander of VFW Post 10354, of El Paso.
The bill now heads to the President’s desk, and will become Hurd’s fifth piece of legislation to become law during his freshman term in Congress.