Authored by Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, H.R. 399 (the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015) is jus’ another ‘Trojan Horse,’ designed to make us thing the ‘new congress’ is doing something about border security. Why?
The bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide “a comprehensive operational plan” for gaining and maintaining control of “high traffic areas” within two-years, and “operational control along the southwest border” within five. It also outsources congressional authority to a border commission, appointed in part by the president, to decide whether the border’s secure.
Although this bill does tighten up the trigger for implementation after the submission of a plan, it fails to eliminate base salaries for political appointees who fail to make and construct the enforcement measures while it blocks bonuses and travel on official government airplanes for those officials. And it has only one clear deadline –18 months to build the required fencing and two-years to meet operational control over “high traffic areas.”
Finally, while bill has lots of technology to help secure the border, the only real construction is an additional 27 miles of the effective double-layered fence. Unfortunately, the bill weakens the 2006 law requiring the construction of a 700-mile double-layered fence.
Republican leaders recently passed a series of proposals to scale back several actions taken by President Obama, but beyond this, Congress on both sides of the aisle still plan to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In its strict definition, “reform” means to change into an improved form or condition, by amending or removing faults or abuses.
Yet don’t expect anything to ‘change’ or ‘improve,’ instead watch for more ‘faults’ and ‘abuses,’ to increase.