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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Senate passes bill to improve security at northern border

Ron Johnson

The U.S. Senate has passed the Northern Border Security Review Act, which requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to update its threat assessment by conducting a comprehensive examination of current resources and to fully evaluate challenges with protecting the U.S.-Canadian border.

The bipartisan bill was introduced by U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

“This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to assess the threats of terrorism and criminal activity across our northern border, including in the Great Lakes region,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done on a bipartisan basis to get this bill through the Senate, and I urge the House to quickly take up and pass this legislation.”

The bill would examine various issues related to border security, including recruiting and retaining border security officials to cover the northern border.

Additionally, the bill would determine which tools border security officials need to effectively combat drug and human trafficking at the border and identify technology that could expand the reach of border agents. It also seeks to find vulnerabilities in cooperation between Canadian, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

Four cosponsors joined the bill including U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME).