Today the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” released an outline for immigration reform below is the section on Border Security, check back here tomorrow for more analysis and commentary on this important piece of legislation. Below you will find the border section of the legislative outline highlighted.
A. Goal for Border Security: We will establish the following “goal” for border security–to achieve and maintain effective control in high risk border sectors along the Southern border. This will be done in two ways:
1) Persistent surveillance in High Risk Sectors along the Southern Border; and
2) An Effectiveness Rate of 90% in a fiscal year for all High Risk Sectors along the
“Effectiveness Rate” definition — The number of apprehensions and turn backs in a specific sector divided by the total number of illegal entries.
“High Risk Border Sector” — Border sectors where apprehensions are above 30,000 individuals per year.
B. Border Security Fund and Border Fencing Fund
180 days after the date of the enactment of the bill, the Secretary shall submit a strategy, to be known as the “Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy,” for achieving and maintaining effective control in all high risk border sectors along the Southern border.
Our bill will appropriate $3 billion to implement this strategy. This money will be used for acquiring, among other things:
- Surveillance and detection capabilities developed or used by the Department of Defense; Additional Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers at and between ports of entry along the Southern border;
- Fixed, mobile, and agent portable surveillance systems; and
- Unmanned aerial systems and fixed-wing aircraft and necessary and qualified staffand equipment to fully utilize such systems.
180 days after the date of the enactment of the bill, the Secretary shall establish a strategy, to be known as the “Southern Border Fencing Strategy,” to identify where fencing, including double-layer fencing, infrastructure, and technology should be deployed along the Southern border.
- Our bill will appropriate $1.5 billion to implement this strategy.
C. Border Security Triggers
1. Trigger to Initial Adjustment of Status: No immigrant in undocumented status may be adjusted to “Registered Provision Immigrant” (RPI) legal status until the Secretary has submitted to Congress the Notice of Commencement upon completion of each of the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and the Southern Border Fencing Strategy.
2. Trigger to Adjustment of Status from Registered Provisional Immigrant Status to Lawful Permanent Resident Status: Except for immigrants who are eligible for the DREAM Act and the Agricultural legalization, aliens in RPI status shall not be eligible to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status until the Secretary of Homeland Security submits a written certification to the President and the Congress, based on analysis by and in consultation with the Comptroller General, that each of the following
measures has been achieved:
- The Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy has been submitted to Congress and is substantially deployed and substantially operational
- The Southern Border Fencing Strategy has been submitted to Congress, implemented, and is substantially completed;
- The Secretary has implemented a mandatory employment verification system to be used by all employers to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States
- The Secretary is using an electronic exit system at air and sea ports of entry that operates by collecting machine-readable visa or passport information from air and vessel carriers.
D. Process for Creating Border Security Accountability
- If an Effectiveness Rate of 90% or higher for all High Risk border sectors is reached during the first 5 years after the bill is enacted—the “Border Security Goal” has been achieved.
- If an Effectiveness Rate of 90% or higher for all High Risk border sectors has not been reached during the first 5 years of the bill, a “Southern Border Security Commission” shall be established.
- The Border Commission will be a bipartisan commission composed of the four border state governors (or their appointees) and border security experts appointed by the President and by the Majority and Minority Leaders in the U.S. Senate and the U.S.House of Representatives.
- The Border Commission shall issue a “Report and Recommendation” that specifically recommends the manpower, technology, and resources it believes is necessary to achieve a 90% border effectiveness rate in all high risk border sectors.
- The bill will appropriate up to $2 billion for DHS to implement the recommendations on manpower, technology, and infrastructure made by the Border Commission.
- This $2 billion will not become available for expenditure until the issuance of the Commission’s Report and Recommendations. If this money is not necessary because the 90 percent efficiency rating has been met, the appropriation will expire and the funds will be available for other immigration enforcement uses as recommended by the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committees.
- If the “Border Commission” has not issued a Report and Recommendation within the required 180 days, the appropriation will transfer to DHS for its use in creating and implementing a new “Southern Border Security Plan” designed to achieve a 90% border effectiveness rate in all high risk border sectors.
E. Additional Border Security Resources
Provide funding for 3,500 additional Customs agents (OFO Officers) nationwide
Provide Authorization for the National Guard to be deployed to the Southwest border For the following purposes:
(1) to construct fencing, including double-layer and triple-layer fencing;
(2) to increase ground-based mobile surveillance systems;
(3) to deploy additional unarmed, unmanned aerial systems and manned aircraft sufficient
to maintain continuous surveillance of the Southern Border;
(4) to deploy and provide capability for radio communications interoperability between
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
(5) to construct checkpoints along the Southern border to bridge the gap to long-term
permanent checkpoints; and
(6) to provide assistance to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, particularly in rural,
high-trafficked areas, as designated by the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border
- Authorize and fund border crossing prosecutions and related court costs in the Tucson Sector at a level sufficient to increase the average number of prosecutions from 70 a day to 210 a day ($50 million from the $3 billion Border Security Fund).
- Provide increased funding for Operation Stonegarden to assist state and local law enforcement to help prevent illegal activity along the border.
- Provide additional funding for additional border patrol stations and forward operating bases to interdict individuals entering the United States unlawfully immediately after such individuals cross the Southern border and to provide full operational support in rural, high-trafficked areas.
- Allow Homeland Security Officials to Access all Federal Lands in order to capture drug traffickers, human smugglers, and other unlawful actors attempting to cross through federally protected lands.
- Provide funding for vital radio communications and interoperability between Customs and Border Patrol and state, local, and tribal law enforcement to assist in apprehension efforts along the border.
- Reauthorize the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) to reimburse state and local law enforcement for the cost of incarcerating criminal undocumented immigrants.
- Authorization the deployment of Department of Defense border radar equipment as deemed necessary by the DHS Secretary.
- Strengthen prohibitions on inappropriate uses of force and racial profiling and require periodic training of all CBP personnel on these prohibitions.
- Establish a Department of Homeland Security Border Oversight Taskforce of community representatives appointed by the President to interact with DHS regarding border security.
- Allow the CIS Ombudsman to serve on ICE and CBP issues.
- Improved training for Border Patrol and DHS oversight provisions.