Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker and colleagues, I rise today to speak about a very important bill that I just introduced, the Save Our Border Communities Act (H.R. 670). The bill would reimburse police, firefighters and other first responders for services associated with U.S. Ports of Entry.
Local law enforcement and first responders are bearing the brunt of protecting our borders. The federal government has not reimbursed border towns for border-related incidents and its drain on local police, firefighters and first responders is increasingly unbearable.
In Imperial County, California, the already strained local police department has announced that due to the high volume of border-related requests, it will no longer respond to most calls from the U.S.-Mexico Port of Entry. The local police department stated they cannot afford to process and transport the numerous individuals with out-of-county misdemeanor warrants to the local jail. Now, instead of being brought to justice, these individuals are set free.
It is about time the federal government pays its fair share. I urge my colleagues to join me in ensuring all our border communities are fully reimbursed for protecting our nation's borders by supporting the Save Our Border Communities Act.