House Homeland Security Committee to consider new DHS requirements for U.S.-Canadian border

In introducing the Northern Border Security Enhancement and Review Act (H.R. 8734) last week, U.S. Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-NY) sought to increase security and attention on the U.S.-Canadian border through several mandates at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The bill, which has 16 initial cosponsors, is currently being considered by the House Homeland Security Committee.

“Our northern border, the world’s longest unsecured border, poses a major threat to our national security, with hundreds of thousands of unidentified individuals streaming into our communities every year,” Langworthy said. “The Biden Administration’s neglect has left us completely vulnerable —that’s why I introduced the Northern Border Security Enhancement and Review Act to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable and ensure they report to Congress. I’ve personally met with Border Patrol agents in New York and witnessed their struggle firsthand — they are severely under-supported and left to face this crisis with limited resources.”

Langworthy’s bill would require DHS to undertake and submit a Northern Border Threat Analysis annually to keep security risk assessments up to date. An update to the Northern Border Strategy would need to follow within 90 days after every threat analysis.

For oversight, the bill would also require DHS to provide classified briefings to Congress within 30 days after any threat analysis submission. The department would also be tasked with creating performance measures to assess the efficacy of Air and Marine Operations (AMO) in securing the northern border.

The bill was introduced a mere two weeks after the Northern Border Coordination Act (S.2291) advanced through the Senate. That bill, crafted by U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), proposed creating and collocating a Northern Border Coordination Center with an existing Border Patrol sector headquarters, Air and Marine Operations Branch, and others to allow coordination on the Northern Border Strategy. However, the House has so far held that bill at the desk and taken no action on it.

The U.S.-Canadian border is the longest international border, with 5,525 miles between it.

Chris Galford

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