This bill would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a comprehensive national strategy for gaining and maintaining "situational awareness" and "operational control" of high traffic southwest border areas.
H.R. 1417 would require reporting from the DHS on the status of its enforcement efforts — while imposing a metric that would measure security and establish concrete benchmarks for the Border Patrol to meet. In four parts, this bill would:
Create a National Plan: This bill hopes that DHS can create a strategy that would result in securing the entire Southwest border within five years. Leading up to that, the strategy should allow DHS to have a handle on high traffic areas within two years and nine months. The plan would also set a standard of 90% effectiveness when apprehending people crossing the border illegally.
Situational Awareness: Advanced technology would be deployed to achieve visibility of the entire border. This technology would include existing government -owned technology that has proven effective in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Metrics and Results: The DHS's border security progress would be measured at and between U.S. ports of entry. The standard of these metrics would be outlines in the overall strategy for securing the border.
Verification at Every Stage: After the national plan is presented, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be directed to verify the viability of the plan's implementation, metrics, and certification of operational control. For an extra layer of scrutiny and expertise, the metrics would be checked by a National Laboratory and a DHS Center of Excellence. DHS would check in with these metric checkers every three months.