by Ripon Advance Reports
A measure introduced by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) on Friday would formally authorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection and clarify its security objectives for the first time.
Miller, vice chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, introduced the CBP Authorization Act to clarify and update the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
The Homeland Security Act established the Border and Transportation Security Directorate to ensure border security for the newly-created Department of Homeland Security. The measure also authorized U.S. Customs without the border security functions of its modern incarnation, CBP.
The Homeland Security Act spread authority over numerous agencies that did not exist at the time — and some agencies, like CBP, that exist today are not found by name in the Homeland Security Act.
Miller’s CBP Authorization Act would authorize security functions of CBP’s office of border patrol, office of field operations, office of air and marine and office of intelligence. The measure would also strike references to organizations in the Homeland Security Act that don’t exist and grant that authority to CBP.
“…CBP has been dedicated to meeting the security needs of our nation over the years; it is past time Congress update the current law to meet today’s security threats along the border,” Miller said. “The Congress must ensure that we provide CBP with the tools needed to secure the border. This is why we must update our current laws as we seek to gain operational control of our borders.”