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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Bill to deploy new technology to help secure southern US border introduced in House

A bill that mandates the deployment of practical and effective security technologies in order to achieve full situational awareness of the southern U.S. border with Mexico was recently introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), David Valadao (R-CA), Steve Knight (R-CA), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Keith Rothfus (R-PA).

The Secure Miles with All Resources and Technology (SMART) Act would also require the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit a comprehensive border security strategy to Congress that details all known barriers, technologies, tools and devices that could be utilized along the border, including an account of measures for each linear mile of the border.

It also authorizes a total of $110 million to increase coordination and collaboration between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and state, local, tribal and other governmental law enforcement entities that support border security operations. In addition, the act creates a two-year grant program to enhance emergency communications in the southern border region, including new multi-band radios and communications technology.

“We need a Smart Wall that uses high-tech resources like sensors, radar, LIDAR, fiber optics, drones and cameras to detect and then track incursions across our border so we can deploy efficiently our most important resource, the men and women of Border Patrol to perform the most difficult task — interdiction,” Hurd said.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), applauded the SMART Act’s introduction by stating the bill would help his agents counter the sophisticated international drug cartels that poison [the nation’s] communities with meth, heroin, and other dangerous drugs.