Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

McSally, Homeland Security Chairman Introduce Bill to Improve Border Security

January 16, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today joined chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul to introduce The Secure Our Borders First Act, legislation to gain and maintain control of our nation’s land and maritime borders. The Committee on Homeland Security, on which McSally serves as a member, is expected to consider the legislation through the regular order process before bringing it to the House floor.
“Earlier this week, the House passed legislation to make sure our homeland security assets are funded and now, this bill takes the important step of addressing and improving our broken border strategy,” said McSally. “I’ve been working hand in hand with Chairman McCaul to make sure this legislation takes into account our residents’ experiences living along the border and addresses their needs and concerns. While I support the bill, I have some concerns still about its direct impact on Southern Arizona and intend to work with the Chairman to ensure they get addressed by the Committee and included in a final bill.”
“The federal government’s number one priority under the Constitution is to provide for the common defense, but when it comes to border security the administration has failed,” said chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul. “Failure is not an option on this issue, so Congress must lead. The Secure Our Borders First Act ensures a smart, safe, and cost-effective border by building fencing where fencing is needed and allocating technology where technology is needed.”
The Secure Our Borders First Act establishes a better strategy for securing our border by emphasizing the smart application of resources and creating quantifiable targets for success. The bill includes measures to:

  • Gain “Operational Control” of the High Traffic Areas of the southern border in two years and “Operational Control” along the entire southern border in five years;
  • Deploy specified technology and new infrastructure to increase security in targeted areas;
  • Establish metrics used to measure the effectiveness and success of our border strategy;
  • Enforce penalties on the Department of Homeland Security political appointees if they fail to meet the terms of the bill;
  • Provide funding for National Guard along our border;
  • And require the establishment of an exit strategy using biometric data to address visa overstays.