McCaul Reintroduces Legislation to Protect U.S. from Bad Actors
by Michael McCaul on March 22, 2021 at 5:24 PM
I reintroduced the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) Authorization Act, which would authorize a successful Department of Homeland Security program that prevents dangerous criminals and protentional terrorists from entering our country through biometric identification. This legislation has support on both sides of the aisle.
As the Biden Administration continues to roll back policies that have weakened our southern border, it is important now more than ever that law enforcement officials have the tools to stop bad actors from entering the U.S. Individuals, like traffickers and transnational gang members, may lie about their identity and attempt to slip into our country undetected, but you can’t fake your biometrics. Through BITMAP we can work with our international partners to identify those bad actors and stop them.
“A strong nation requires every tool to combat ever-evolving security threats. BITMAP plays a critical role in increasing our ability to share intelligence with local law enforcement and to create strategies with our international partners to identify and break up transnational criminal organizations,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX). “As the Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations, I will continue to ensure our federal law enforcement have the necessary resources to keep our country safe and secure.”
“Just this week, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that individuals on the terrorist watchlist have attempted to enter our country illegally through the southern border,” said Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “To keep America safe, we must work with our international partners to identify bad actors before they reach our borders. The ICE BITMAP program has proven to be a valuable information-sharing resource, and this bill makes necessary improvements to better protect the homeland.”
In 2018, BITMAP passed the House overwhelmingly, 272-119, with bipartisan support. Since the inception of this program, this successful program has enrolled over 460 known or suspected terrorists. Additionally, American citizens can opt-out of providing biometrics for the entry-exit system. Once Customs and Border Protection verifies that an individual is a U.S. Citizen from their passport or a review of the technology, they are excluded from biometric tracking requirements.