Congressman Benishek wants Tighter Borders

WASHINGTON, DC: Congressman Dan Benishek (MI-01) cosponsored the “Border Security Technology Innovation Act” Tuesday. It will increase the use of technology to substantially improve the security of America’s borders.

“Citizens in Northern Michigan and across America expect the federal government to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to protect this nation’s borders. I see this legislation as a way to use innovative, 21st Century technology to assist in the effort,” said Benishek, a general surgeon whose Congressional District shares a border with Canada.

Benishek stated the bill includes research into the routine operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border and maritime security missions, research into tunnel detection technologies, and research to respond to the use of counterfeit documentation for cargo and persons.

“Many of these technologies are already used in our ongoing fight against terrorism and I am confident that they can be successfully employed in the effort to secure our borders,” added Benishek.

Benishek explained the bill also directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a study into the use of biometric technology at the border. Lastly, the legislation also includes provisions to extend a scientific advisory board that expired in 2008, requests input from the Government Accountability Office on long-term research trends in border security, and requires technical projects at DHS to include clear cost and operational requirements.

The legislation was authored by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (TX-04). “Americans are looking for results when it comes to protecting our borders and I applaud Chairman Hall for his work and leadership on this bill,” Benishek said.

As a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Benishek is confident that other members of the House-both Democrats and Republicans-will endorse the legislation.