Today, U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri (NY-24) voted to boost our nation's border security, putting more agents on patrol and protecting communities along the southern border. The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Border Security (H.R. 6080) provides $600 million in emergency funding to shore up our border - including more than $240 million to hire 1,000 new Border Patrol agents and 250 new Customs and Border Protection agents.
"I am deeply concerned about the recent spike in violence that has occurred as the drug cartels fight for supremacy over the routes used to smuggle illegal drugs into the United States," said Arcuri. "During my trip to Tuscon and Nogales in 2008, I saw first-hand the work our Border Patrol agents and National Guardsmen to protect our country and prevent illegal immigration. As we wait for the Federal Government to address our growing immigration problem, this funding will go a long way in providing the resources necessary to secure the Southwest Border and reduce the threat of violence."
The legislation will provide funds to deploy unmanned drones to fly along our southern border and provide our patrol officers on the ground with real-time information on unlawful border crossings. It will also improve communications capabilities between federal border enforcement and state and local officers along the border. It helps Immigration and Customs Enforcement conduct investigations of drug-runners, money-launderers, and human traffickers. And, it provides nearly $200 million to increase the number of ATF, DEA and FBI agents on our border and to bolster the number of prosecutors and court resources along our border so that wrongdoers can be immediately brought to justice.
Additionally, this legislation is fiscally responsible and does not add to the national debt, mostly by increasing, over five years, the cost of two visas which permit foreign workers to come and work in the United States. These fee increases, which would raise $550 million, would apply only to companies with more than 50 employees AND for whom the majority of their workforce is visa-holding foreign workers.
H.R. 6080 passed today in the U.S. House of Representatives by a voice vote and must now be approved by the Senate before it can be signed into law by the President. The bill is the exact text of the Schumer Substitute to H.R. 5875 passed by the Senate on Thursday, August 5, 2010. The House had to consider it as a new bill to satisfy the Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution.