U.S. Rep. McSally Leads Hearing On Role of Technology Along Southwest Border
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today chaired a Homeland Security Committee hearing to examine look the role that technology plays in helping to predict, deter, detect and interdict illicit activity along the Southwest border. The hearing featured testimony from security officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, and U.S. Government Accountability Office.
“Putting more technology on the border will increase our chances of apprehending dangerous individuals and interdicting lethal drugs like heroin and fentanyl that cause so much death and pain for our fellow American citizens,” Rep. McSally, who is the Chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security subcommittee, said during the hearing. “Technology is a crucial force multiplier, and part of a multi-layered approach of the ‘right mix of infrastructure, personnel, and technology’ that we have used for at least 20 years. Congress expects the Border Patrol, the Office of Field Operations, and Air and Marine to be able to quickly identify, and justify the technological needs required to secure the border. “
Watch her full opening statement below:
During her questioning, Congresswoman McSally focused on evaluating the efforts underway to increase situational awareness along the border, specifically in the Tucson sector.
“Air Assets are a critical part of the technology to build situational awareness at the operational and tactical level on the border, and air is critical in the Tucson sector but we’ve lost our air capability. 50% of marijuana comes through the Tucson sector, and in the hot summer we have deaths in the desert and air assets are critical to get to people before it is life threatening. What has the impact been of decreasing air assets and flight hours in the Tucson sector?” asked Congresswoman McSally.
CBP Officials acknowledged the Tucson sector is a “critical cog” in securing the Southwest border, and Acting Deputy Chief of U.S. Border Patrol, Scott A. Luck, shared plans to test additional unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fill security gaps. They plan on testing UAVs next month in Arizona.
Watch the questioning below:
Congresswoman McSally also questioned officials on the status of technology or programs to improve the situational awareness of Border Patrol Agents and CBP officers on the ground. Watch that interaction HERE.