H.R. 3586, Border and Maritime Coordination Improvement Act

H.R. 3586

Border and Maritime Coordination Improvement Act

Date
April 13, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 3586, the Border and Maritime Coordination Improvement Act. The bill was introduced on September 22, 2015, by Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The Committee on Homeland Security ordered the bill reported, by voice vote, as amended, on September 30, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3586 identifies and implements efficiencies within the border and maritime security components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Specifically, this bill:

  • Improves U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) coordination by: establishing an immigration cooperation program with foreign governments to better identify individuals who pose a security risk and may be inadmissible to the United States; directing the CBP Commissioner to establish a program to collect electronic information for the advance screening of air cargo; requiring CBP Air and Marine Operations to deploy assets with a risk-based assessment that considers mission needs; and establishing integrated border enforcement teams with Canada to strengthen security of ports of entry and the northern border;
  • Establishes Border Security Joint Task Forces to conduct joint operations between DHS components and personnel to secure the land and maritime borders of the United States;
  • Encourages public-private partnerships to support customs, agricultural processing, border security, or immigration-related matters at a port of entry or other facility where CBP operates;
  • Establishes the Office of Biometric Identity Management to have responsibility over matching. Storing, and sharing of vital biometric data and operating a principle biometric database;
  • Directs DHS to conduct cost-benefit analyses of co-locating air and marine operational entities that are based within 45 miles of each other;
  • Requires the Commissioner to establish a three-year strategic plan for deployment of CBP personnel to locations outside the United States;
  • Improves the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism;
  • Requires a strategic plan every three years to enhance the security of international supply chains; and
  • Directs the Secretary to strengthen the security of Transportation Worker Identification Credentials.

Background

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is tasked with securing America’s borders and promoting legitimate trade and travel.[1] According to the Committee on Homeland Security, more than 12 years after the Department of Homeland Security, stovepipes remain among the 22 different component agencies, especially with respect to border and maritime security efforts.

H.R. 3586 seeks to provide DHS with the necessary tools and authorities to better streamline operations amongst relevant components while enhancing security.  The Department has already established three Joint Task Forces, including JTF-East, JTF-West, and JTF Investigations.  In addition, the Office of Biometric Identity Management currently exists and is collecting biometric information on most foreign travelers, refugees, and visa holders which are screened against criminal, defense, and immigration databases.

The Committee on Homeland Security reports that greater efficiency in CBP and United States Coast Guard efforts would be beneficial to maritime security, and improvements to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program and Custom-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism programs are essential.  Moreover, key programs like the Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot program and the Immigration Advisory Program help “push the borders out” and prevent dangerous people from entering the United States in the first place.

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[1] See CRS Report “Border Security Metrics Between Ports of Entry” at 5 February 16, 2016

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is currently not available.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.