Today, the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation unanimously approved H.R. 2463, legislation introduced by Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX), that supports the development of technologies necessary to continue to improve the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ability to detect and respond to the challenges to securing our nation's borders. Specifically, H.R. 2463 focuses research at the DHS's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) on key long-term endeavors: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), tunnel detection, anti-counterfeit technologies, and mobile biometric technologies.
"The legislation we are considering today will further assist border patrol agents by helping to develop cutting edge technologies to support their efforts to secure our country's borders," said Subcommittee Chairman Ben Quayle (R-AZ). "The Border Security Technology Innovation Act is not just limited to land border crossings, but also addresses detection technologies necessary to effectively monitor and control the country's ports of entry."
At the markup Chairman Hall noted that the U.S. has nearly 7,500 miles of land border with Canada and Mexico, over which nearly a million passengers and pedestrians and 47,000 truck, rail, and sea containers pass per day. "I believe this Committee is ideally positioned to strengthen control of our nation's borders through this legislation supporting effective, efficient, and evolving border defenses," Hall said.
The goal of H.R. 2463 is to improve long term planning for research and development at DHS S&T, especially in the area of border and maritime security technology. The bill authorizes specific border security technology programs, and instructs DHS S&T to improve processes for setting research priorities and serving the needs of technology end users. Moreover, H.R. 2463 reauthorizes a critical Science and Technology Advisory Committee at DHS S&T.