Congresswoman Suzan DelBene introduced bipartisan legislation today to stop the creation of a land border crossing fee.
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security included in its Fiscal Year 2014 budget request legislative language to authorize a study assessing the feasibility of charging admission for travelers coming into the United States at land crossings.
"The commerce and tourism that comes with sharing a Northern border is a critical factor in maintaining a vibrant economy in Whatcom county," said DelBene. "A border crossing fee would have an immediate negative impact on our local economy and this legislation seeks to stop any fee before it could be implemented."
DelBene is introducing this bill as Senator Patrick Leahy is working to insert the same legislative language to block DHS' proposed study as an amendment into the larger comprehensive immigration reform legislation the Senate is currently deliberating.
DelBene has already joined 18 of her colleagues in sending a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to reconsider the proposal, and today's bill is another step in DelBene's continued bipartisan effort to stop this economically damaging border fee. Cosponsors of this legislation include, Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY), Bill Owens (D-NY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI).