Thursday, March 31, 2011
Candice Miller introduces legislation requiring Homeland Security to develop strategy for securing borders within five years
By Chad Selweski
Macomb Daily Staff Writer
U.S. Rep. Candice Miller introduced legislation on Thursday that would require the Department of Homeland Security to secure the entire northern and southern borders of the United States within five years.
Miller, chair of the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, said the Obama administration’s lack of action on border security is “unacceptable.” The Secure Border Act proposed by Miller would require DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to devise a plan for both borders that outlines the use of additional border guards, pedestrian fencing, vehicle barriers, unmanned aerial vehicles, new technology and sensors.
“The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are on the front line working tirelessly every day to secure our nation’s border and we all honor their dedicated service to our nation,” said Miller, a Harrison Township Republican. “Because of the wide scope of the current problem, the Border Patrol are far too often undermanned, and in some cases out gunned. The fact of the matter is that our borders are not adequately secured and there is a great need for a clear, concise and effective strategy to gain control of the entire border, as well as measure the effectiveness of our efforts.”
A Government Accountability Report released in February warned that the protection of the 4,000-mile border between the United States and Canada is riddled with holes and the lack of security presents a greater terrorism threat than the porous U.S.-Mexico border.
The General Accountability Office studied four sections of the border, including the Detroit area, and concluded that in 2010 only 32 miles of the overall northern border — or less than 1 percent — “had reached an acceptable level of security.” That level means that all illegal border crossings were detected and an arrest was made.
On the southern border with Mexico, only 44 percent of the territory is considered to be sufficiently under “operational control.”
That track record contrasts sharply with the U.S. Border Patrol’s latest strategy document, produced in 2004, which outlined the BP’s strategic goal: to establish and maintain operational control of the entire border of the United States.
“The administration has no plans to gain additional miles of border under operational control either this year or next – this is unacceptable,” Miller said. “The lack of urgency to confront the problem puts this administration at odds with the demands of the American people who are calling for a cohesive and comprehensive plan to gain and maintain operational control of the border.”
“My legislation,” she added, “… would require DHS to develop such a comprehensive plan to achieve operational control of our borders that acknowledges the challenges and effectively utilizes the personnel and tools needed to finally secure our borders.”
Secure the Border
Thursday, March 31, 2011
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