NTF Issue paper: cong148.doc. 8-18.

BACKGROUND. Because of our current lax system of screening individuals entering our country and failing to track them once here, also because many foreigners with evil intent regularly sneak into the U.S., Americans need and deserve a protective system that will help close these dangerous gaps in our security. According to recent predictions by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, evolving threats of terrorism, drug abuse, and sex trafficking will become the top 3 challenges for U.S. law enforcement in 2018. Though these dangers are familiar, new techniques and technologies slyly used by malevolent individuals will require U.S. agencies to share data, employ new intelligence technologies, and cooperate closely to combat these threats effectively.

THE BILL. Cong. Michael McCaul (TX.) introduced HR 6439, a bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a working biometric ID immigration alert system. NE Cong. Don Bacon co-sponsored the bill. This system would reduce national security, border security, and terrorism threats before such threats reach our borders. The legislation requires the director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to coordinate actions and consult with the Sec. of State, federal agencies, and similar agencies of foreign nations. All parties would share biometric and biographical information collected from foreign nationals in order to ID and screen them. This process would ID those who present a terrorist threat or a danger to national or border security. The U.S. would provide training and equipment to partner nations to collect biometric and biographical ID from suspects to detect, prevent, and stop high risk individuals identified as threats who plot to enter the U.S. by illicit means. Cooperating countries would share gathered data, utilizing our FBI terrorist screening database, its Next Generation ID database, and the Defense Dept. Automated Biometric ID systems. All data collected would comply with policies and procedures established by federal privacy provisions. Within 6 months after this law takes effect and annually for 5 years, the Homeland Security secretary must submit to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees a report that details the effectiveness of operations in improving national and border security and counterterrorism operations. The secretary must inform both committees of new BITMAP agreements with foreign governments at least 60 days before they begin. BITMAP is an ICE program established in 2011, by which U.S. and foreign law enforcement law officers collect and share biometric and biographical data on those identified as potential threats who utilize illegal routes to enter the U.S. Since then, BITMAP has identified several hundred known or suspected terrorists besides criminals, drug smugglers, sex traffickers, child predators, and Hispanic gang members. The BITMAP program has proved extremely useful in increasing our capacity for information sharing and developing comprehensive strategies with our international partners to intercept known or suspected terrorists and criminals before they reach our borders. HR 6439 would provide a legal basis and operational plan for this program that the Obama Regime failed to implement comprehensively, leaving the system to languish with no enforcement.

SPONSOR NOTES. Stated Cong. McCaul, “As terror threats evolve over time, our adversaries become more agile, desperate to avoid detection and sneak into our country. One of the ways they try to come here is through the exploitation of illicit pathways in South and Central America. To combat this threat, we must leverage our international partnerships and use the most advanced technology to our advantage. ICE’s BITMAP program shares valuable data from law enforcement officers in participating countries with our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Simply put, this bill will help stop dangerous individuals who want to bring harm to the American people from entering the country. I look forward to this bill advancing to the House floor for a vote and continuing the Committee’s efforts to better secure the homeland.”

ITS PROGRESS. The House Homeland Security Committee passed HR 6439 on a 20-7 vote. The bill advanced to the full House for a vote.

TAKE ACTION NOW. This bill definitely will help screen out those who intend to inflict harm to the U.S. and its citizens everywhere, including Nebraska. Delay means prolonged danger to our citizens. Contact your NE congressman today to vote FOR HR 6439, using the above talking points. Email netaxpayers@gmail.com for congressional contact information.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 8-18. C

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