Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to Chairwoman Landrieu and Ranking Member Coats - Opposition to Proposed Border Crossing Fee Study

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, along with a bipartisan group of fourteen other Senators, today sent a letter to Senators Mary Landrieu and Dan Coats, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, expressing serious concern with the Department of Homeland Security's plan to study the feasibility of imposing a border crossing fee along the northern and southwestern borders.

"For many border community residents, crossing the border is a way of life in order to access essential services, travel to their jobs, to shop and dine, to attend church, and to visit family and friends," the letter reads. "Many American communities and businesses along the northern and southwestern border rely on trade and tourism to power their economies. A decrease in tourism and travel would have a detrimental impact on these border communities and hinder current and future economic relationships between the U.S. and its neighbors."

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Chairwoman Landrieu and Ranking Member Coats:

We are writing to express our serious concern with the Department of Homeland Security's plan to study the feasibility and cost related to imposing a crossing fee on pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwestern borders, as proposed in the President's budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. Current federal law bars the U.S. Treasury and the Attorney General from charging and collecting any fee for the immigration inspection and pre-inspection of passengers arriving over land at a U.S. port of entry whose journey originated in Canada, Mexico, any state or U.S. territory, or any adjacent island. (See 8 USC 1356(e).) This prohibition should be maintained.

For many border community residents, crossing the border is a way of life in order to access essential services, travel to their jobs, to shop and dine, to attend church, and to visit family and friends. Many American communities and businesses along the northern and southwestern border rely on trade and tourism to power their economies. A decrease in tourism and travel would have a detrimental impact on these border communities and hinder current and future economic relationships between the U.S. and its neighbors.

During the Senate Judiciary Committee's recent consideration of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a bipartisan amendment was offered to prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from establishing, collecting, or otherwise imposing a border crossing fee for pedestrians or passenger vehicles at land ports of entry along the Southern or Northern border. The amendment also prohibited the Department from conducting a study, the first step towards the imposition of a new border crossing fee. The amendment was agreed to with overwhelming support as a strong statement against the misguided DHS proposal.

While we recognize the difficult challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security, imposing a border crossing fee for individuals crossing the border over land is not a reasonable solution to the Customs and Border Protection's budgetary concerns. Therefore, we respectfully request that the subcommittee include the following language in the FY 2014 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill to block this misguided plan:

None of the funds provided by this Act may be used to conduct a study assessing the feasibility and cost relating to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee for both land border pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States.

We look forward to working with you as the Committee develops its spending bill for the next fiscal year.


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top