U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after introducing the Border Security Results Act with U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), a bill to improve border security including a proposal aimed at achieving a 50 percent reduction in border port of entry wait times.
"By requiring the Department of Homeland Security to use all available tools, including new technologies and results-based metrics, I'm confident we can achieve significantly lower wait times at ports of entry, facilitate enhanced, legitimate trade and travel with our third largest trade partner, and greatly boost security for those living along the border and Americans across the country.
"By cutting wait times in half, my legislation will ensure that our Texas border communities are safer and their local economies more prosperous."
Earlier this year, Sen. Cornyn introduced the Cross Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2013, to encourage public-private partnerships to boost staffing and make infrastructure improvements at U.S. ports of entry. Sen. Cornyn has also introduced legislation that funds emergency resources for ports of entry along the Southwest border.
Background on the Bill
The Border Security Results Act of 2013 requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a comprehensive outcome-based strategy for securing our borders that:
Incorporates advanced technology to get a complete picture of the security of the entire border for full situational awareness.
Employs this data to properly allocate manpower and other resources--both at, and between, the land ports of entry.
Creates new metrics to define progress based off the number of apprehensions relative to the total number of illegal crossings.
Requires DHS to achieve a 50 percent reduction in border port of entry wait times for commercial and passenger vehicles .
Support For the Bill
"Sen. John Cornyn's Border Security Results Act wisely shines a spotlight on security efforts at the ports of entry, which smugglers every day attempt to breach in order to enter contraband into the United States. By directing DHS to report to Congress on the Department's efforts not only to increase security but to analyze its staffing needs at the ports and to assess resources necessary to markedly reduce wait times at the ports for legitimate trade and travelers, this legislation stands to be a catalyst for real reform on the borders. The Border Trade Alliance endorses this important legislation which has a goal of reducing border wait times by 50 percent."
-Jesse J. Hereford, Chairman, Border Trade Alliance
"As Superintendent of Bridges for the City of Mcallen and in charge of the Administration of City owned bridge operations I applaud Senator John Cornyn for his efforts to help expedite legitimate trade and travel. Providing resources necessary to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the average wait times of commercial and passenger vehicles at our international ports of entry will greatly enhance our competitive edge and increase economic activity in our border region."
-Rigoberto Villarreal, Superintendent of the McAllen International Toll Bridge
"[South Texans' Property Rights Association]STPRA whole heartedly supports Senator John Cornyn's Border Security Results Act of 2013.
"Securing the border should be based on "operational control' by developing a comprehensive strategy to obtain control of every sector of the border.
"It is time to support a common sense approach to securing the border that actually works and it's time to regain control of our nation's security!"
-Susan Durham, Executive Director, South Texans' Property Rights Association
"The Texas Border Coalition appreciates the work that Sen. Cornyn and Rep. McCall are doing to establish markers on what it will cost to achieve operational control of the U.S.-Mexico border.
"The federal government has spent more than $90 billion over the past decade to secure the border. The results are mixed: apprehension rates are up for illegal crossings in the frontier between our official border crossings. Yet, powerful drug cartels from Mexico continue to enjoy commercial success along the border, smuggling more drugs than ever into the country through these border crossings. It's an unfortunate fact that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not developed a cohesive strategy to correct this imbalance.
"We have long said that the U.S. needs well-built, equipped and staffed border crossings that can interdict lawbreakers and facilitate legitimate trade and travel. That includes $6 billion to meet the border's infrastructure requirements and 6,000 new front line Customs inspectors.
"Meanwhile, our immigration system is broken and until the U.S. has a well-run system that expands avenues for legal workers and cracks down on unlawful hiring, illegal border crossings will continue. TBC will keep working with our senators and representatives in Congress and with the White House to enact comprehensive immigration reform."
-Monica Weisberg-Stewart, Texas Border Coalition, Immigration and Border Security Chair