Today, the House passed an additional $600 million for border security measures which will allow for the hiring of an additional 1,000 border patrol agents. The measure passed without opposition on a voice vote and will now head to the Senate for consideration. The Senate has already passed nearly identical legislation. Congressman Bright recently visited the southern border to assess the needs of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"I am proud to support this legislation because we can no longer wait to secure our border," Bright said. "After visiting the border last week, it became even clearer that we must provide those defending our border with additional, targeted resources. I am pleased we were able to work in a bipartisan manner to make this additional funding a reality. I encourage the Senate to pass and the President to quickly sign this legislation so those on the front lines of the fight against illegal immigration aren't forced to wait any longer."
Highlights of the legislation include:*
· Border Patrol Agents: $176 million for 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents deployed between the ports of entry along the Southwest Border.
· CBP Officers: $68 million to hire 250 new CBP officers at ports of entry along the Southwest Border and maintain 270 CBP officers.
· CBP Tactical Communications: $14 million for designing, building, and deploying an improved tactical communications system for support of enforcement activities on the Southwest Border.
· Border Patrol Forward Operating Bases: $6 million for the construction of two forward operating bases along the Southwest Border for improved border enforcement activities.
· Airborne Interdiction: $32 million to procure two additional CBP unmanned aircraft systems.
· Immigration Enforcement Activities: $80 million for ICE to hire more than 250 special agents, investigators, intelligence analysts, and mission support staff and for targeted activities directed at reducing the threat of narcotics smuggling and associated violence.
· Workforce Integrity: $10 million for a surge of workforce integrity investigations designed to prevent corruption among CBP officers and agents.
· Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: $37.5 million for the continued expansion of ATF's Project Gunrunner, which targets firearms trafficking across the Southwest border, and to increase ATF's capacity to complete firearms trace requests related to border cases.
· Drug Enforcement Administration: $33.7 million for investigations, intelligence, surveillance and other operational needs of the DEA to target and pursue major drug trafficking organizations along the border.
· Federal Bureau of Investigation: $24 million for FBI investigative, intelligence, tactical and forensic responses to gangs, violent crime and public corruption in the border region.
· Interagency Enforcement: $21 million for the operation of prosecutor-led task forces involving Federal, state and local law enforcement officials to target the biggest, most significant drug trafficking organizations with ties to the Southwest border.
· U.S. Marshals: $37.7 million for the U.S. Marshals Service to provide prisoner production and security support for defendants referred by CBP and ICE, as well as for an expansion of the Marshals presence in Mexico.
· Federal Prosecutions: $13.1 million for prosecutorial support to address increased cases referred by CBP, ICE and DOJ investigative agencies.
· Detention & Federal Prisons: $27 million for detention and incarceration space to address the increase in the prisoner population resulting from new DHS and DOJ investigative activity.
· The Judiciary: $10 million for the Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and other judicial services to meet increased workload requirements resulting from immigration and other law enforcement initiatives.