2014-01-23 / Opinions

U.S. Rep. Miller introduces first-ever Customs and Border Protection Authorization Measure

VIEW from Washington

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10), Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, on Jan. 10, introduced the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Authorization Act (H.R.3846), a measure to formally authorize CBP and clarify the security missions of the department for the first time since the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2002. Over the years, the border security statutory authority granted in the Homeland Security Act has spread over several agencies and organizations – some of which did not exist in 2002 and in essence, Congress has never authorized CBP to perform the missions it does today.

“The men and women who make up the U.S. Customs and Border Protection keep our nation safe by securing all of our borders, work in concert with other homeland security agencies to prevent illicit cross-border activity, and facilitate international commerce crucial to our way of life. CBP has been dedicated to meeting the security needs of our nation over the years; it is past time Congress update the current law to meet today’s security threats along the border,” Miller said. “The Congress must ensure that we provide CBP with the tools needed to secure the border. This is why we must update our current laws as we seek to gain operational control of our borders.”

The CBP Authorization Act, H.R.3846, is designed to remedy that situation by authorizing – for the first time – the security functions of Customs and Border Protection, including: the Office of Border Patrol, Office of Field Operations, Office of Air and Marine, and CBP’s Office of Intelligence. In addition, the CBP Authorization Act cleans up the current statute to remove references and authorities granted to organizations that no longer exist and vest them within the Commissioner of CBP.

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