Rep. Roy Introduces the Border Security and Safety Act
As the southern border crisis rages on without an end in sight, federal lawmakers have mobilized to craft a plan to curtail the Biden administration’s anti-borders agenda that is causing this mayhem.
Leading the charge, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and 16 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives recently introduced the Border Security and Safety Act of 2022. If signed into law, the bill would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to do the following to regain control of the Southwest border:
- Permits the DHS secretary to suspend the entry of illegal aliens at land or maritime borders if they determine it is necessary to attain operational control of the border(s).
- Require DHS to prohibit the entry of illegal aliens if the secretary cannot detain them as required by the Immigration and Nationality Act or be placed in a program similar to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
- Allows state attorneys general to file legal action against the DHS secretary if they do not comply with the above provisions.
Rep. Roy’s bill comes at a critical time when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) do not have enough agents or resources to handle the constant flow of unauthorized border crossers. To lend a hand to CBP, state and local governments have initiated their own enforcement efforts to curb the flux of dangerous drugs and illegal aliens, but it hasn’t been enough.
In fact, President Joe Biden’s border strategies have made it much easier for criminal organizations to smuggle contraband into the country, which is also fueling crime across American cities.
To make matters worse, the administration is still sticking to its reckless decision to scrap Title 42, the public health order allowing CBP authorities to expel COVID-positive migrants from the United States. Since last year, CBP has warned of the safety implications of lifting Title 42 and other sound policy initiatives such as MPP and the Asylum Cooperative Agreements.
With record-breaking encounters occurring almost every month, the president should be providing DHS and its component agencies with more tools to ensure our security and sovereignty rather than undermining it at every turn. For example, another bill to aid border agents is the Border Visibility and Security Act.
Some of the bill’s provisions include directing DHS to deploy technology that would improve border enforcement, such as radar surveillance systems, tunnel detection technology, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Another requirement would be constructing a navigable road along at least 700 miles of the Southwest border for immigration agents to travel and effectuate their patrol rotations. Additionally, DHS would be required to remove foliage along the Rio Grande River that prevents border agents from apprehending illegal aliens.
Taken together, these two pieces of legislation could go a long way in bolstering our border security.
With both bills facing long odds of passage in the 117th Congress, they should at the very least serve as a wake-up call for the Biden administration to overhaul its border policy. If enacted, these bills should be the starting point, not the finish line, in achieving operational control of the southern border. As FAIR has called for, there are more proposals to be implemented if the federal government wants to minimize illegal immigration.