GOP pushes DHS to develop border enforcement plan

That Senate proposal, from the so-called "gang of eight," is expected to be introduced this week.

In the meantime, the bill introduced today attacks what Republicans say has been a major flaw within DHS — the lack of a clear strategy for securing the border.

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"For too long, we have approached border security backwards — by throwing resources at the problem, to plug the holes on our borders without a comprehensive plan to tactically distribute those resources," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who sponsored the bill in the House.

"Until Congress mandates the creation of a national strategy, the Administration will continue to say the border is secure while America's back door remains wide open."

The bill calls on DHS to develop a strategy for gaining operational control of all U.S. borders within 120 days after it becomes law. Functionally, that means the southern border, as it calls for a focus on high-traffic portions of the border.

It would require DHS to start implementing its plan 60 days after that, and demands that DHS use advanced technology to get a complete picture of where border security needs to be enhanced.

It also requires DHS to use new metrics that define progress based on the number of stopped border crossings relative to the total number of illegal crossings.

The House bill is cosponsored by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who chairs the House Homeland Security's subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. In the Senate, the bill is sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who said setting up ways to measure successful border enforcement is critical.

"Since 2010, the administration has failed to provide a metric for determining border security, yet they continue to claim that the border is secure," Cornyn said. "By requiring the administration to come up with a clear measurement of security, as well as a timeline for development and implementation, we can ensure that our national security policy is based on real results, and not baseless claims."