Obama Deploys National Guard to Border, Cornyn Offers Amendment to Ensure Strengthening of Border Security
Today, I spoke on the Senate floor and filed an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill, which will help the President maintain his commitment to strengthening border security and provide resources desperately needed to secure the border. The amendment will not add to the deficit because the costs are fully offset by using unspent stimulus funds.
Our children are living in fear, but the Obama White House is living in denial. The President must make border security a priority, not an afterthought or an empty talking point. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment and help send a message to our border communities that the federal government accepts its responsibility to keep them safe.
My amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 4899) corrects the misplaced priorities of the Obama Administration, dedicating robust funding for border security and ensuring the President commits the necessary resources to the Southwest border. The amendment provides resources for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who work on the frontlines of the U.S.-Mexico border every day. More specifically, the amendment will fund six important priorities involving border security, which include border security and technology, state and local law enforcement, southwest border taskforces, border enforcement personnel, detention and removal activities, and ports of entry.
Each of these priorities are explained in detail below:
Border Security Equipment and Technology
- Provides $144 million for expanded unmanned aerial vehicle operations, including the purchase of six additional Predator B unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), ground control stations, and funding for UAV pilots and support staff
- Provides $49.4 million for 10 additional helicopters for border enforcement
- Provides $360 million for border surveillance and monitoring equipment, vehicles and mobile technology
State and Local Law Enforcement
- Provides $300 million for State and local law enforcement entities, operating within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, to purchase equipment, hire personnel, including investigators and detectives, and cover salaries and expenses associated with border enforcement
Southwest Border Taskforces
- Provides $140 million in funding for High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Programs in Southwest border states
- Provides $44.7 million in funding for National Guard Counterdrug Programs in Southwest border states to support drug interdiction and anti-drug activities
Border Enforcement Personnel
- Provides Federal agencies (DEA, ATF, ICE and CBP) with over $340 million to hire and support criminal investigators, special agents, intelligence analysts, and other personnel for drug enforcement and illicit firearms trafficking
Detention and Removal Activities
- Increases detention capacity an additional 3,300 beds annually over a two-year period at a cost of $151 million · Provides $125 million to hire 500 additional detention and removal officers
- Provides $89 million to expand repatriation programs that return illegal aliens to their home countries
Ports of Entry
- Provides $200 million to hire 500 CBP officers to staff southwest border ports of entry and for infrastructure improvements at high-volume ports of entry
Update: Obama announced today the deployment of 1,200 additional national guard troops to the border. While I appreciate the President’s acknowledgement that his Administration has done too little to secure our border, his proposal still comes up short. Temporary fixes are no solution to long-term challenges.
My amendment reflects the real needs of federal, state, and local law enforcement. With the right equipment, more personnel, and better infrastructure, these agencies can be much more effective in keeping our communities safe. I urge the President to support my amendment, which would demonstrate a real presidential commitment to border security.