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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Bill targets potential border surges

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Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced last week a measure designed to address potential southwest border surges.

The Border Surge Response and Resilience Act would require the Department of Homeland Security DHS and federal partners to establish a plan addressing border migrant surges with metrics in place to activate access to supplemental funds.

“After hearing first hand from border patrol agents, it’s clear they need interagency backup and accountability across the federal government to appropriately handle border surges,” Katko, lead Republican of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said. “Agents and officers on the frontlines are suffering through another crisis, in the midst of a global pandemic, and some still haven’t been vaccinated. We need greater confidence that the federal government can manage these crises going forward.”

The measure would also hold interagency components accountable to handle bottlenecks taking law enforcement off the line and resulting in children being held in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody for longer periods than needed.

“It is critical that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proactive and develops a strategy to adequately manage large migration flows at our southern border,” Cuellar, vice chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said. “This bipartisan legislation will allow the federal government to employ a whole-of-government approach to create a response framework that anticipates migration surges, allowing them to quickly shift resources and take immediate action to mitigate a humanitarian crisis.”