Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth District, today applauded the House passage of H.R. 6025, the Mandatory Operational Control Reporting and Performance Measures Act, introduced by Congresswoman Candice Miller of Michigan. Congressman Flake is a lead cosponsor of H.R. 6025.
The bill directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create for congressional approval a strategy for gaining operational control of the northern and southern U.S. borders. Although previously reported by the Obama Administration, the recent 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan released by DHS makes no reference to operational control.
"It's going to be impossible for Congress to tackle immigration reform without achieving operational control of our southern border, and the federal government can't achieve operational control if they aren't even using it as a metric," said Flake.
Congressman Flake first urged DHS to return to reporting operational control by successfully inserting language into the FY2013 Homeland Security Appropriations bill report which directed the Department to resume utilizing the number of border miles under operational control to evaluate border security.
In 2011, Congressman Flake introduced in the House H.R. 1507, the Border Security Enforcement Act of 2011, which is focused on achieving operational control of the southern U.S. border by increasing border resources. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl introduced the legislation in the Senate. Among the 10 key provisions of the bill is the deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops and 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents to the United States-Mexico border by 2016. It would create additional Border Patrol stations along the southwest border and six additional permanent Border Patrol Forward Operating Bases and would upgrade existing bases.