Bipartisan Group Introduces Border Security Legislation

April 7, 2004

Washington, DC – Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today introduced the “Border Security and Technology Integration Act of 2004,” that would identify and address gaps in border infrastructure and enforcement. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Hilary Clinton (D-NY), Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA). “Improving enforcement along our porous borders, as proposed in this legislation, would be one very important step in our efforts to promote national security,” McCain said. “Despite the best of intentions, Arizona now accounts for roughly 40 percent of all illegal entry into the United States,” said Senator Kyl. “We, therefore, need to make every effort, using every tool at our disposal, to combat this growing problem. This legislation would help ensure that we are correctly targeting our technological and other resources on potentially serious threats to our national security.” The Border Security and Technology Integration Act is intended to improve security along the vast expanses of land between ports of entry along our nation’s northern and southern borders. It would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct comprehensive vulnerability and threat assessments throughout Bureau of Customs and Border Protection field offices to determine what technology and equipment are needed to improve security. The bill would establish two new border technology pilot programs, one to address aerial surveillance and another to address ground surveillance that together will comprehensively evaluate technologies that can improve security along the borders. “Manpower alone can never secure the border. We need a comprehensive border-wide security approach that involves people, infrastructure, and technology,” McCain said. ###