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Illegal Border Crossings Targeted by Camp

Location: Washington, DC


Dec 17, 2005

Washington, DC - Attempting to tackle what many security experts have called a "revolving door" at the nation's southern border, U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) voted late last night in favor of and the House passed a package of reforms that will increase the number of agents at the border, increase use of unmanned, high-tech surveillance equipment and expand detention facilities to house those caught attempting to cross the border illegally.

"We let go 115,000 illegal border crossers this year alone," said Camp, a former member of the House's Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of its subcommittee on Border and Infrastructure Security. "That's about the same number of people living in Midland, Saginaw and Traverse City combined. Despite being detained once and given an order to appear before a judge, most of these people are never heard from again. The lack of enforcement at our southern border is putting every American at risk. This bill is a major step forward in getting illegal immigration back under control and securing our homeland."

The Border Protection Act will enhance security along our nation's borders and ensure terrorists cannot enter the United States illegally by: establishing operational control of all borders and ports through enhanced Border Patrol operations, physical barriers, and state-of-the-art technology; ending the "catch and release" practice along the southwest border; streamlining operations within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) border security agencies; and promoting both international and domestic policies that will deter further illegal entry into the United States.

Specifically, the legislation authorizes 1,000 new, full-time port of entry inspectors over the next four years and the training of 1,500 additional K-9 units over the next five years; establishes physical barriers and incorporates widespread, state-of-the-art surveillance technology, including cameras, sensors, radar, satellite, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in order to ensure one hundred percent coverage of our borders; and, requires mandatory detention for all illegal immigrants who are apprehended at U.S. land borders attempting to cross illegally and requires those apprehended to remain in custody until removal from the country.

The bill passed 239 to 182, with 36 Democrats and 203 Republicans voting yes

"This bill addresses enforcement issues, but that won't solve the problem alone," Camp added. "I hope that after the Holiday season Congress can quickly begin working with other countries to jointly develop policies that will encourage legal immigration and the accurate documenting of guest workers staying in the U.S."

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