Bill would require examination of threats & needs along Northern Border to improve resources, security
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that a bipartisan bill they cosponsored to help assess and strengthen American security at the Northern Border – the longest common land border in the world – passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate.
The bipartisan legislation, the Northern Border Security Review Act, would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a comprehensive examination of the current resources and personnel levels – as well as fully evaluate security threats and challenges at the border. At 5,500 miles long, including 1,500 miles between Alaska and Canada, the Northern Border has 120 border crossings, many of which are small and in rural areas.
“Maine law enforcement officers and border patrol agents are the first line of defense in maintaining the security of our border with Canada and protecting Maine from threats,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “By understanding the northern border's needs, strengths, and vulnerabilities, addressing recruiting and retention issues, and ensuring access to critical resources in rural areas, this legislation will play a significant role in bolstering our border security, supporting law enforcement, and keeping Maine citizens safe.”
Approximately 300,000 people and $910 million in trade cross the Northern Border every day, representing the largest bilateral flow of goods and people in the world. The Northern Border Security Review Act would require a comprehensive examination of the following issues:
- Recruiting and retaining border security officials to cover the Northern Border, including at more remote areas of the border;
- Determining tools border security officials need to effectively combat drug and human trafficking at the Northern Border;
- Identifying technology that could expand the reach of border agents; and
- Finding vulnerabilities in cooperation between Canadian, state, county, local, and tribal law enforcement.
The legislation was introduced by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). Additional cosponsors include Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Click here to view a summary of the bill.