Rep. Miller: Senate Passes Immigration Bill Which Lacks Strong Border Security Enforcements

Jun 27, 2013 Issues: Defense and Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today made the following comments regarding the U.S. Senate’s passage of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.  Miller said:

“Real border security should be based on measured effectiveness and not simply by the amount of money thrown at the problem.  The bill that passed the Senate today spends billions of dollars to provide the allusion that the border is being secured, but provides no verifiable metrics to judge whether or not that money is being used effectively and the border is actually secure.  Simply put – more Washington big government and no accountability.  More of the same wasteful Washington spending is not what the American people are demanding.  What they are demanding is results; they deserve better.

“As Chair of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee I have been working for the last several years on a solution to ensure our borders are secure and force the Department of Homeland Security to prove their claims of secure borders through the use of real, verifiable metrics.  The Border Security Results Act (H.R. 1417) compels the Department to take a radically different approach that does not judge border security on how many miles of fence built, or Border Patrol agents hired, or dollars spent, but on effectiveness of stopping illegal border crossings.  And this judgment is not made by the same group being judged, but by an expert independent laboratory.  Our bill was passed unanimously out of both the subcommittee and the full House Homeland Security Committee because it sets a tough, but achievable standard to hold the Department accountable for border security progress. 

“The American people will not accept any attempt to fix our broken immigration system unless they have the confidence that we have actually secured the border.   It is clear that the tough legislation we are working on in the House will secure the border and it is equally clear that the Senate bill will not get the job done.”

Summary of H.R. 1417, the Border Security Results Act
• A National Plan: H.R. 1417 compels DHS to develop a national strategy and implementation plan to gain operational control of high traffic areas within two years and nine months – and the entire Southwest border within five years – setting a standard of 90% effectiveness for apprehending illegal border crossers.

• Situational Awareness: H.R. 1417 directs the use of advanced technology to achieve visibility of the entire border by incorporating existing taxpayer owned technology that has proven effective in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Metrics and Results: H.R. 1417 mandates the development of metrics to measure border security progress at and between the nation’s ports of entry to effectively allocate resources and manpower.

• Verification at Every Stage: In addition to DHS having to present the plan to the Congress, H.R. 1417 requires GAO to verify the viability of the strategy's implementation plan, metrics, and certification of operational control. Additionally, the metrics will be verified by a National Laboratory and a DHS Center of Excellence, which will serve as an additional layer of scrutiny and expertise.