Republicans, promising us the “toughest border security bill ever,” will bring HR 399 to the floor this week for a vote. Submitted by Mike McCaul, the new House Homeland Security Chairman, less than two weeks ago, one has to ask why the rush?
According to Congressman McCaul the purpose of the bill, the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015, is to force DHS to gain and to maintain operational security of our international borders. Like a lot of garbage that comes out of D.C., this bill is no exception.
Yes, HR 399 does requires DHS to place resources along both borders; to construct hundreds of miles of roads, including roads for private land owners; to construct and heavily man forward operating bases near the border, and to allow border patrol agents access to federal lands along the US/Mexican border but it gives them five more years to do so. Then they twist the screw by giving DHS another 7 years to implement a biometric exist system, which, by the way, has been a federal law they’ve ignored for the last decade.
Then to complicate the process even more, the bill creates a new Border Security Verification Commission to certify whether DHS has achieved operational control over the border. Just what we need, another Commission! The BSV will consist of 10 members – five of which will be appointed by the President; two will come from DHS (can anyone say left tilt?]; and the last three from another newly created Special Congressional Commission on Border Security. This last Commission will be staffed with the House and Senate majority and minority leaders, the Chairman and ranking members of the House and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
What the bill doesn’t do is actually secure our borders, address the government’s failure to enforce our current immigration laws or stop Obama from allowing illegals into our country and then rewarding them with welfare, healthcare, and jobs.