The Security Industry Association (SIA) announced Tuesday its endorsement of H.R. 3548, the Border Security for America Act of 2017 (BSAA), which would strengthen tactical infrastructure on the U.S. northern and southern borders.
SIA sent a letter to the House Homeland Security Committee last week expressing its support of the legislation, which would employ both additional physical barriers and security technologies, such as biometric entry/exit data systems.
“Implementation of H.R. 3548 could result in significant expansion of U.S. border protections by physical barriers as appropriate in high-risk areas as part of this border security infrastructure,” SIA CEO Don Erickson said. “Physical barriers are not effective deterrents without the ability of U.S. border patrol agents to detect breaches and breach attempts. Therefore, the use of modern integrated surveillance technology and analytics used in perimeter security will be just as essential to success as a barrier’s structural design.”
Erickson also expressed support for the authorization of an additional $33 million in fiscal 2018 to implement the Border Security Deployment Program, which would upgrade surveillance and intrusion detection systems at land ports of entry along the southern and northern borders.
The House Homeland Security Committee will consider H.R. 3548 in a markup. SIA encouraged the Committee to issue a favorable report of the legislation and further consideration by the U.S. House following its approval.
House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) authored the bill. It is co-sponsored by more than 60 members of Congress. The International Biometrics + Identity Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and several other organizations have also expressed their support the legislation.