(Washington, DC) — Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) recently held a border security roundtable with representatives from U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration Customs and Enforcement, and other Federal Government Agencies. The discussion focused on securing our northern border, providing adequate border security personnel, and the need for new technology and resources. Following the roundtable, McMorris was given a helicopter tour of the northern border.
“Securing our northern border is an essential part of keeping our nation and communities safe,” said McMorris. “The roundtable and tour were extremely useful in order to get a first-hand perspective on the activity and challenges facing the northern border. Illegal immigrants and illegal drugs are coming into our state through our northern border and we cannot ignore this security risk. I am committed to ensuring our border agents and local authorities have the funding and resources necessary to protect our region.”
Participants at the roundtable discussed the geographical differences between the northern and southern border and the specific technology needs of each. The northern border is in remote areas, and 75 percent of it is on public land. Currently there are no surveillance capabilities below 6,000 feet.
McMorris, a member of the Northern Border Caucus, supported H.R. 4437 the Border Protection Act, to enhance security along our nation’s borders to ensure people cannot enter the United States illegally. The major provisions of the legislation included: establishing operation control of all borders and ports through enhanced Border Patrol operations, physical barriers and state-of-the-art technology; and streamlining operations within the Department of Homeland Security border security agencies.