H.R. 455, Northern Border Security Review Act, as amended

H.R. 455

Northern Border Security Review Act, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. John Katko

Date
October 28, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 455, the Northern Border Security Review Act, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 455 was introduced on January 21, 2015 by Rep. John Katko (R-NY) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported, by voice vote, on June 25, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 455 requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit to Congress, within six months of enactment, a northern border threat analysis.  The threat analysis must include:

  • Current and potential terrorism and criminal threats posed by individuals and organized groups seeking to enter the United States through the Northern border or exploit vulnerabilities along that border;
  • Improvements needed at and between ports of entry along the Northern border to prevent terrorists and instruments of terror from entering the United States and reduce criminal activity;
  • Gaps in law, policy, cooperation between state, local, and tribal law enforcement, international agreements, or tribal agreements that hinder effective and efficient border security, counter-terrorism, anti-human smuggling and trafficking efforts, and the flow of legitimate trade along the Northern border; and,
  • An analysis of whether additional U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance and pre-inspection operations at ports of entry along the Northern border could help prevent terrorists and instruments of terror from entering the United States.

The bill requires the Secretary, to the extent possible, to submit the required threat analysis in unclassified form, but allows the submission of a portion in classified form if the Secretary determines appropriate.

Background

The DHS “has never before conducted a threat analysis for the Northern border, which would help inform future homeland security resourcing needs.”[1]  Since the Northern border of the U.S. spans approximately 4,000 miles, “it would be cost prohibitive to allocate enforcement resources using a brute force model of additional agents, technology, and infrastructure in an ad hoc fashion.”[2]  H.R. 455 requires an analysis of the security gaps and most pressing needs to inform the location and type of solutions required to secure the Northern border so resources can be allocated more efficiently and cost-effectively.

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[1] See House Report 114-232 at 2.
[2] Id.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 455 would cost about $1 million in 2016, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

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