The Security Industry Association (SIA) has endorsed H.R. 3548, the Border Security for America Act of 2017 (BSAA), authored by House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R.-Texas, and co-sponsored by more than 60 members of Congress.
The House Homeland Security Committee will consider this plan to strengthen tactical infrastructure on the U.S. northern and southern borders in a markup tomorrow, Oct. 4. SIA representatives are available for interviews on the bill.
Last week, SIA wrote to the Committee to express strong support of the legislation, and the Committee recognized SIA as a key supporter of BSAA on its website – alongside the International Biometrics + Identity Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and several other organizations. SIA commended the Committee’s efforts to strike an effective balance between additional physical barriers and increasing use of security technologies to deter unlawful entry into the United States, depending on the border region. SIA’s support letter can be found here.
“Implementation of H.R. 3548 could result in significant expansion of U.S. border protections by physical barriers as appropriate in high-risk areas as part of this border security infrastructure. Physical barriers are not effective deterrents without the ability of U.S. border patrol agents to detect breaches and breach attempts. Therefore, the use of modern integrated surveillance technology and analytics used in perimeter security will be just as essential to success as a barrier’s structural design,” SIA CEO Don Erickson wrote in the letter.
Erickson also expressed approval for the authorization of an additional $33 million in fiscal 2018 to fully implement the Border Security Deployment Program, which will help modernize surveillance and intrusion detection systems at land ports of entry along the southern and northern borders. Additionally, SIA supports the phased deployment of biometric entry/exit data systems for international visitors mandated in the bill, which is long overdue since its initial authorization in 2004.
SIA encourages the Committee to issue a favorable report of H.R. 3548 and further consideration by the U.S. House after its approval.