Bipartisan Legislation Would Create a Strategic Plan and Contingency Fund for Immediate Needs at the Border
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, cosponsored the Border Response Resilience Act to help ensure that law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border have the resources that they need to address surges in migration at the Southern border.
The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ), requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal partners to create a strategic plan and conduct exercises to improve the federal response to increases in unaccompanied children, asylum-seekers, and migrants at the southern border. The bill also gives DHS access to emergency funding to activate the strategic plan in the event of a surge.
“We must strengthen border security, which is why I’m working across the aisle with Senators Portman and Kelly to increase funding for law enforcement at the border as it faces migrant surges,” said Senator Hassan. “This is a bipartisan, commonsense bill that will help ensure that the Department of Homeland Security steps up its efforts to protect the border, and I will keep working to move this bill forward.”
The bipartisan Border Response Resilience Act would establish the “Irregular Migration Border Response Fund” with $1 billion so that DHS is not forced to transfer resources away from other border security priorities to fund food, clothing, blankets, and transportation for unaccompanied children and family members. These contingency resources would be available immediately when numerical border metrics are met so that the Agency can quickly respond to increased migration at the border. The Fund is authorized for replenishing consumables, equipment, overtime and payroll funds for Border Patrol agents, health care and mental health care for individuals, and trauma-informed care for children.
Senator Hassan is focused on ensuring that law enforcement have the tools they need to secure the border. The recent government funding bill that Senator Hassan helped craft included $23 billion to help Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement address the high volume of migrants at the Southern border. Senator Hassan has also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided critical tools to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids. Senator Hassan also recently led a field hearing in Manchester through her role as chair of the Emerging Threats subcommittee to examine ways that Congress can help support law enforcement’s efforts to stem the flow of drugs into community, including at the southern border.