Cornyn, McCaul to introduce border security measure


POSTED: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 10:11am

UPDATED: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 2:44pm

Doubling down on their vows to focus on border security before considering immigration reform, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, will file legislation on Tuesday that will further scrutinize how well the federal government protects the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Border Security Results Act will place a marker for what needs to be done on border security before reforming the immigration system. The legislation would be bipartisan by a group of senators known as the Gang of Eight which would overhaul the immigration system.

The bill would the Department of Homeland Security to readopt metrics to determine if a portion of the border is under "operational control." Under such a "control" illegal crossers are either detected, deterred or apprehended at the border or within 100 miles of the border.

Cornyn and McCaul's bill will also require federal agents on the border to set a 90 percent apprehension rate goal for people who enter the country without inspection, and set a 50 percent reduction in wait times at the nation’s ports as the standard.

Proponents of immigration reform, including several Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups, cite recent apprehension data as proof that the border is more secure than it has been. Apprehensions have fallen to record lows, which DHS said indicates that fewer people are attempting to enter the country illegally.

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