Legislation Proposed to Require DHS to Secure Borders within 5 Years

Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI) has introduced legislation that would require the Department of Homeland Security to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders within five years.

U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, has introduced the Secure Border Act of 2011, which will require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a strategy to gain operational control of the border.

“The first and foremost responsibility of the federal government is to provide for our common defense, which is in the Preamble of our Constitution. Our common defense begins with effectively securing our borders. The American people rightly expect and demand that the federal government take the responsibility to secure our borders seriously. This means preventing unlawful entries, illicit drugs and other contraband from entering our nation.” said Miller.

Miller’s legislation would require the Secretary of DHS to produce a plan to gain operational control of the border within five years and taking into account staffing requirements, infrastructure, including pedestrian fencing, vehicle barriers, use of unmanned aerial vehicles, technology and sensors.

The U.S. Border Patrol’s latest strategy document, produced in 2004, outlined the Border Patrol’s strategic goal: to establish and maintain operational control of the entire border of the United States. According to recent GAO reports, the Border Patrol has established operational control of less than 44 percent of the southwest border and has reached an acceptable level of security on 32 of the nearly 4,000 northern border miles in fiscal year 2010.