Secure Our Borders First Bill Passes Committee

michael mccaul_0The Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives reported the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015 (H.R. 399) yesterday.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-PA) Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee expects the bill to head for the House floor shortly.

“This is probably the strongest border security bill ever presented to the Congress,” McCaul said.

The main problem faced by previous border security legislation was how to enforce its strictures on an Administration bent on ignoring the law.

H.R. 399 accomplishes this goal in two ways. First, it establishes penalties for noncompliance.

“Each tenet of the bill comes with a finite deadline for agency and department officials. Should DHS fail to meet the stringent deadlines, no political appointee of the DHS would be allowed travel by government aircraft, or receive any non-essential training, bonus pay, or raises until deadlines have been satisfied.”

Secondly, it establishes a brand new Border Security Verification Commission to monitor the Department of Homeland Security’s actions to implement the new border security measures.

“The purpose of the BSVC is to, “certify the accuracy of the notifications regarding situational awareness and operational control.” Compensation for serving on the BSVC is strictly prohibited.”

H.R. 399 does not call for the completion of a fence along the entirety of the Southern Border but it does not call for removing of any fence already constructed. H.R. 399 mandates additional fencing as well as repair of existing fences within a year and a half of enactment.

It does divide the border into sectors and calls for a variety of upgraded security measures based on the risks and needs in each area.

“For example, the Rio Grande Valley sector would see deployable, lighter than air ground surveillance equipment, increased flight hours for aerial detection, interdiction and monitoring operations capability, ultralight aircraft detection capability, advanced unattended surveillance sensors, increased monitoring for cross-river dams, culverts, footpaths.”

McCaul’s bill also beefs up enforcement of a biometric data exit system.

“Tracking entries and exits has long been a deficiency of DHS that’s allowed exceedingly high numbers of individuals entering the country lawfully to disappear. Depending on their manner of exit and the training of the CBP staff at the Port of Entry, exits have been haphazardly recorded, if at all.”

Senators Johnson, Cornyn, and Flake have introduced a companion measure in the Senate.

From legal insurrection