Past Features

January 18, 2015

Glenn Spencer, American Border Patrol -- January 18, 2015  
    We have a new border security bill - HR 399 -- the "Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015".
    Introduced by Chairman McCaul just last Friday, HR 399 is a significant improvement over the "Border Security Results Act of 2013".
   In fact, may I be so modest as to suggest that the new bill addresses many of the concerns I raised in my 2013 GovSec West paper -- What is Border Security and How Will be Know When We Have it?.
    In particular the bill clearly asserts that the DHS must achieve "Operational Control" of the border and provide proof that it has achieved it.
    Reflecting the fact that DHS has refused to do this in the past, the bill includes penalties to be imposed on political appointees if they do not comply with the provisions of the bill.
    The bill does not call for lots of new fencing -- but there are lots of other ways to achieve Operational Control.
    It does call for additional technology that can show if the border is secure -- and this is very important.
    The key here is the term "Secure Our Borders First". Congress must stop all Obama amnesty spending and then pass HR 399. We can return to the issue of immigration reform once DHS has proven that it has followed the law.
    Finally, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Chairman Candice Miller for her dogged pursuit of a border metric.