House Homeland panel to take up border security bill this week

The House Homeland Security Committee will mark up legislation this week to enhance border security as the GOP debates how to respond to President Obama’s immigration action.

A markup of the bill, which will give members of the committee an opportunity to offer amendments, is slated for Wednesday at 2 p.m.

{mosads}The measure, authored by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Homeland Security Committee chairman, would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prevent all unlawful entries into the U.S. along the entire southern border within five years, and high-traffic areas within two years. Such an achievement is known as “operational control.”

If operational control isn’t established by the deadline, DHS political appointees would be barred from travel using government aircraft, non-essential training and opportunities for salary bonuses.

The bill would further direct construction of 27 new miles of fence along the border and allow border patrol agents access to federal lands. Border patrol agencies would be allowed to receive transfers of excess Defense Department military equipment.

The House last week passed a DHS spending bill that would undo President Obama’s November executive action to delay deportations, as well as freeze a separate program that allows certain illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to apply for work permits. Twenty-six Republicans defected from their party over halting the program.

Tags Department of Homeland Security Immigration Michael McCaul

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