Thompson, Jackson Lee Join as Original Co-Sponsors of Bipartisan Border Security Legislation
(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, joined Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael T. McCaul (R-TX) as original co-sponsors of the Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417) – border security legislation that directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a comprehensive border security strategy to gain and maintain operational control of the international borders of the United States. Companion legislation was also introduced in the Senate.
Ranking Member Thompson released the following statement on the bill: "I am pleased to join with Chairman McCaul in introducing the 'Border Security Results Act of 2013'. Despite significant investments in border security over the past decade, there continues to be questions about the security of our nation's borders. I have long called for the Department of Homeland Security to develop a comprehensive border security strategy and an achievable implementation plan against which performance can be measured – and this bipartisan measure seeks to do just that. I am confident that as this bill moves through the legislative process, we will be able to work together and strengthen it to produce a measure that deserves consideration in the upcoming debate on securing our borders and reforming our immigration system."
Ranking Member Jackson Lee added the following statement: "I am joining with my Homeland Security Committee colleagues in a bipartisan effort to develop legislative solutions and identify and provide the resources needed to secure the nation's borders. At the same time, however, we must move ahead in the effort to reform our broken immigration system to make it fairer and more humane. There is no reason we cannot work together on a bipartisan basis to achieve both of these goals at the same time."
Chairman McCaul released the following statement on the legislation: "Not knowing who is coming across our borders threatens our economic and national security. Americans have seen that promises of border security coupled with immigration reform have gone unfulfilled in the past. It is the role of this Committee to ensure our borders are secure, and the Border Security Results Act of 2013 ensures this goal will be realized. This legislation compels the use of taxpayer-owned technology to gain situational awareness of our borders so that we can finally see what we're missing, and doing so will allow us to develop measures to gauge progress. For too long, we have approached border security backwards – by throwing resources at the problem, to plug the holes on our borders without a comprehensive plan to tactically distribute those resources. Until Congress mandates the creation of a national strategy, the Administration will continue to say the border is secure while America's back door remains wide open."
The Border Security Results Act of 2013 requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a comprehensive outcome-based strategy for securing our borders that:
- Incorporates advanced technology to establish situational awareness of the security of the entire border and employs this information to properly allocate manpower and other resources.
- Requires the collection of metrics to define progress, including the number of apprehensions relative to the total number of illegal crossings.
Specifically, under this measure, DHS must:
- Develop a strategy to secure the border within 120 days of bill passage and implement the strategy 60 days after its development, with the implementation plan to be reviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
- Gain situational awareness within 2 years of bill passage and gain operational control of the border within 2 years of implementation of the strategy.
- Submit to an independent audit by a DHS National Lab and GAO to verify the validity of their proposed metrics.
# # #
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Jackson-Lee) Mike McQuerry 202-225-3816
(McCaul) Mike Rosen at 202-226-8417
Next Article Previous Article