Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

McSally Legislation to Strengthen the Outer Ring of U.S. Border Security Passes the House

June 25, 2018
Press Release
Two Bills Will Authorize Department of Homeland Security’s Primary Biometric Repository and Immigration Advisory Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills introduced by Representative Martha McSally to bolster the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) security efforts along the border and overseas. The Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) Authorization Act establishes the OBIM as the primary biometric repository for the DHS. OBIM provides biometric identity services to DHS components and other Federal agencies in support of anti-terrorism, counterterrorism, border security, credentialing, national security, and public safety efforts. The Immigration Advisory Program (IAP) Authorization Act codifies the IAP, which deploys U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers to international airports in partners countries to prevent terrorists and other criminals from boarding flights bound for the United States. These are Congresswoman McSally’s tenth and eleventh bills that have been passed by the 115th Congress.

“Terrorists, transnational criminal organizations, and others seeking to do harm are constantly adapting their strategies to infiltrate our country,” said Congresswoman McSally. “My bills passed by the House today will give DHS explicit authority to identify and track high risk individuals and prevent them from ever reaching our shores. In the current environment, we must find ways to push out our borders and deploy 21st century solutions to counter 21st century threats. These two pieces of legislation will help us move closer to accomplishing these goals and increasing the safety and security of all Americans.”

The OBIM operates the DHS’s repository of over 225 million unique identities that include fingerprint-based biometrics as well as face and iris holdings. The office also supports DHS’s efforts to create a biometric entry/exit program which can accurately identify individuals who seek to enter the U.S. based on their biometric information.

The IAP is an important part of CBP’s security agenda overseas. This program deploys CBP Officers to major last-point-of-departure airports, to advise airlines against boarding foreign nationals that will be deemed inadmissible upon arrival. In Fiscal Year 2017, there were a total of 4,328 no-board recommendations made across 12 different IAP airport locations.