Separate From Immigration Reform, Border Security Legislation to be Introduced

Katie Pavlich

4/9/2013 1:22:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

In a much needed move, Texas Senator John Cornyn and Rep. Michael McCaul plan to introduce border security legislation Tuesday separate from the Gang of 8 illegal immigration reform proposal, which is expected to be released in the next few weeks. More from The Texas Tribune:

To attend any event at the White House, one must be invited. (The White House is now closed for public access by members of the general public.) And especially this one, with Hollywood and musical stars--and with remarks by the president of the United States.

Since it's an official event, we know who's picking up the tab. The taxpayers.

As we saw with Senator John McCain's border visit, the definition of what "the border is secure" means has been fluid since talk of amnesty and an immigration overhaul began months ago. Cornyn and McCaul's legislation addresses this issue and gives border security a more solid definition.

The legislation will be introduced as a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight purportedly moves closer to introducing a bill to overhaul the country’s immigration system. Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama, have argued that the border needs to be secure before reform can be passed. But discussions on how that end is achieved — and how success is measured — have been contentious.

Cornyn and McCaul's border security bill will require the Department of Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection, to readopt the metrics by which they determine if a portion of the border is under “operational control.”

Under operational control, illegal crossers are either detected, deterred or apprehended at the border or within 100 miles of the border. A 2011 Government Accountability Office study found that about 875 miles of the 2,000-mile southern border were under operational control.

Cornyn’s office said DHS in 2010 stopped the metric “operational control” to gauge border security and has not replaced it, leaving nothing in place to evaluate the agency’s progress.

Cornyn and McCaul's bill will also require federal agents on the border to set a 90 percent apprehension rate goal for people who enter the country without inspection, and set a 50 percent reduction in wait times at the nation’s ports as the standard. The bill will also require DHS to attain “full situational awareness of our borders through technology, manpower and results-based metrics,” the aide said. 

We'll have to wait and see what the details of the bill look like, but there still seems to be a major lack of attention to the criminal element attached to an open border and the strong cartel foothold now in America as a result. The good news is, Cornyn and McCaul understand that border security and illegal immigration are two separate issues that should be dealt with separately, with border security coming first.