McCaul: Senate Bill Spends Billions on Cart-Before-the-Horse Border Approach

Jun 27, 2013 Issues: Border Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released the following statement regarding Senate passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). 

Chairman McCaul:  “Today, the Senate passed a cart-before-the-horse border security strategy. The Senate’s ‘border surge’ is a textbook example of government waste, as it throws arbitrary resources at the border without a long-term national strategy or required outcomes. By not including a 90% apprehension requirement, it fails to guarantee progress, and instead borrows money we don’t have to fast-forward immigration reform.

“To date, DHS has never developed a comprehensive plan to achieve operational control of our borders which is why we continue to see illegal border crossings shift. Unless we require a nationwide, results-based plan, we will inevitably spend countless taxpayer dollars only to repeat this debate a decade from now.

“To address border security the right way, in April, I introduced bipartisan legislation that ensures results. H.R. 1417, the Border Security Results Act, demands a plan, evaluated by outside experts instead of the Administration, before one dollar is spent on new resources. The bipartisan bill, which recently passed the House Homeland Security Committee unanimously, compels DHS to finally develop a comprehensive outcome-based strategy, implementation plan and metrics to achieve operational control of the border – defined as stopping 90% of illegal border crossers – in a tight but achievable timeline. Unlike the legislation passed by the Senate today, the Border Security Results Act demands progress instead of accepting the status quo.”  

Summary of H.R. 1417, the Border Security Results Act

  • A National Plan: H.R. 1417 compels DHS to develop a national strategy and implementation plan to gain operational control of high traffic areas within two years and nine months – and the entire Southwest border within five years – setting a standard of 90% effectiveness for apprehending illegal border crossers.
  • Situational Awareness: H.R. 1417 directs the use of advanced technology to achieve visibility of the entire border by incorporating existing taxpayer owned technology that has proven effective in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Metrics and Results: H.R. 1417 mandates the development of metrics to measure border security progress at and between the nation’s ports of entry to effectively allocate resources and manpower.
  • Verification at Every Stage: In addition to DHS having to present the plan to the Congress, H.R. 1417 requires GAO to verify the viability of the strategy's implementation plan, metrics, and certification of operational control. Additionally, the metrics will be verified by a National Laboratory and a DHS Center of Excellence, which will serve as an additional layer of scrutiny and expertise.

 

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