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Public Statements

Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


BORDER PROTECTION, ANTITERRORISM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 15, 2005)

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PART B AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR. CARTER

Mr. CARTER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

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Mr. CARTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

This amendment would ensure that the Secretary of Homeland Security would look at all technical solutions to find the best solution for effective two-way communication on the United States border. By specifically requiring the Department of Homeland Security to include satellite communications as part of this solution to curing the inefficiencies of existing communication on the border, Congress would be ensuring the consideration of the only proven communication tool that can maintain the constant connection to the Border Patrol officers in the field, thereby saving their lives and providing homeland security seamlessly and flawlessly.

In many instances during the recent natural disasters of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, satellite technology was the only reliable method of communication. Moreover, this technology has been used extensively by the U.S. military in inhospitable and remote areas of Afghanistan and Iraq. Satellite communication has proven its worth.

During the Katrina disaster, I had a conversation with the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Porter) about going down with a load of provisions to help folks down there. When he arrived at the town, I do not remember the name of the town, he ask if they had talked to FEMA and they said, yes, they gave us a phone number to call, but, unfortunately, our cell phones do not work, and our land lines are down so there is no telephone in this town.

Mr. Porter had his satellite phone with him. He shared his satellite phone with those disaster victims, and they were able to communicate with FEMA.

Given the unique characteristics of our border area, satellite technology would be specifically useful in alleviating many of the communication problems that currently exist and can be done in a very cost-effective way to the U.S. taxpayer. This amendment ensures that all available options would be considered instead of limiting the Border Patrol to outmoded and frequently ineffective technology.

I ask my colleagues to support this amendment because it will greatly enhance the U.S. Border Patrol's ability to protect our Nation's borders and provide for their individual safety.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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