House passes Border Security Bill
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 02:06:56 GMT —
The House of Representatives passed a 600 million dollar bill to secure the border.
Local Congressmen and residents alike said they think Texas deserves a big chunk of that money.
Alejandro Sanchez said he's familiar with border violence.
He lived in Reynosa for about eight or nine years, and he said he hopes these funds will prevent the violence from spilling over.
"We decided to look for another place to live that's more peaceful," he said.
Sanchez and his family came to the Valley when his daughter Liliana was about four years old.
"There's more security here, and things are more under control," he said.
Sanchez said he'd like it to stay that way.
He said in Mexico, he saw organized criminals get their way and abuse residents and officials.
Although he said he feels safe now that he lives in the U.S., he said since the Valley neighbors Mexico, more border security is crucial.
"By adding more ATF, ICE, FBI, help for our judges and border patrol, this will provide more resources down here along with the equipment that we want to buy," said Congressman Henry Cuellar.
Congressman Cuellar said he applauds Congress for approving the bill, and he said he thinks a big chunk of that should go to Texas.
"When you look at it, two thousand miles that we have with Mexico, 12 hundred of that is just Texas," said Congressman Cuellar.
That's something residents like Sanchez couldn't agree with more.
The bill is in the Senate's hands now, they're expected to vote on it Thursday.
The following is a breakdown of the funding the bill would provide:
Department of Homeland Security: $394 million for department efforts to strengthen enforcement on the southern border, including: Border Patrol Agents: $176 million for 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents deployed between the ports of entry along the Southwest Border. CBP Officers: $68 million to hire 250 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at ports of entry along the Southwest Border and maintain 270 CBP officers funded through declining user fees. CBP Tactical Communications: $14 million for designing, building, and deploying an improved tactical communications system for support of enforcement activities on the Southwest Border. Border Patrol Forward Operating Bases: $6 million for the construction of two forward operating bases along the Southwest Border for improved border enforcement activities. Airborne Interdiction: $32 million to procure two additional CBP unmanned aircraft systems. Immigration Enforcement Activities: $80 million for Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) to hire more than 250 special agents, investigators, intelligence analysts, and mission support staff and for targeted activities directed at reducing the threat of narcotics smuggling and associated violence. Workforce Integrity: $10 million for a surge of workforce integrity investigations designed to prevent corruption among CBP officers and agents. Funding will also go to: Department of Justice: $196 million for Justice Department programs, including: ATF: $37.5 million for the continued expansion of ATF TMs Project Gunrunner, which targets firearms trafficking across the Southwest border, and to increase ATF TMs capacity to complete firearms trace requests related to border cases. DEA: $33.7 million for investigations, intelligence, surveillance and other operational needs of the DEA to target and pursue major drug trafficking organizations along the border. FBI: $24 million for FBI investigative, intelligence, tactical and forensic responses to gangs, violent crime and public corruption in the border region. Interagency Enforcement: $21 million for the operation of prosecutor-led task forces involving Federal, state and local law enforcement officials to target the biggest, most significant drug trafficking organizations with ties to the Southwest border. U.S. Marshals: $37.7 million for the U.S. Marshals Service to provide prisoner production and security support for defendants referred by CBP and ICE, as well as for an expansion of the Marshals presence in Mexico. Federal Prosecutions: $13.1 million for prosecutorial support to address increased cases referred by CBP, ICE and DOJ investigative agencies Executive Office for Immigration Review: $2.1 million to process and adjudicate removal proceedings involving criminal aliens. Detention & Federal Prisons: $27 million for detention and incarceration space to address the increase in the prisoner population resulting from new DHS and DOJ investigative activity. The Judiciary: $10 million for the Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and other judicial services to meet increased workload requirements resulting from immigration and other law enforcement initiatives.