BORDER PROTECTION, ANTITERRORISM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 15, 2005)
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Mr. KING of New York. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume and yield to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. LoBiondo), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard Maritime Transportation, for the purposes of a colloquy.
Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding this time, and I thank him for engaging in a colloquy to clarify the intent of this bill regarding our Nation's seaports.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask you if it is the sentiment of the chairman that this bill does not intend to duplicate or supersede existing policies and strategies that have been developed specifically for the maritime domain as part of the Strategy for Maritime Security or the National Maritime Transportation Security Plan, because these strategies provide a comprehensive framework to enhance maritime domain awareness including activities that may affect or threaten our maritime border security.
Mr. KING of New York. I would say to the gentleman that it is my intent that maritime border security strategies called for in H.R. 4437 should be developed under the framework of the Strategy for Maritime Security and in a way that complements the maritime security strategies that are being implemented under that plan
Mr. LoBIONDO. As the chairman knows, the Coast Guard has been identified as the lead Federal agency with responsibilities over maritime domain awareness. The Coast Guard's efforts to enhance awareness of activities in the maritime domain, in addition to the services role as the lead law enforcement agency in the maritime environment, enhance the Nation's capabilities to maintain security along our maritime borders. The Coast Guard carries out missions every day to interdict illegal immigrants, drugs, and suspect cargo and crew before each reaches the United States.
I ask the chairman if it is his intent to continue this House's support of the Coast Guard's efforts to maintain heightened border security and that this act would not hinder these critical Coast Guard missions.
Mr. KING of New York. Nothing in this act should be understood to divert existing responsibilities for maritime border security or more generally any component of security in the maritime domain from the Coast Guard to any other entities in the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. LoBIONDO. I thank the chairman for clarifying these very critically important issues regarding our maritime homeland security and the Coast Guard.
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