Cornyn, Peters bill to improve efficiency and boost safety at US ports of entry becomes lawRhea Gonzales December 27, 2018 0 COMMENTS
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Gary Peters (D-MI) released the following statements after President Trump signed their United States Ports of Entry Threat and Operational Review Act into law. This bill, which they jointly authored, would initiate an in-depth analysis of the strengths, opportunities, and vulnerabilities of land, sea, and air ports of entry so that we can promote more efficient trade and travel across our borders while targeting vulnerabilities to decrease illegal activity.
“Trade and travel through Texas’ many ports of entry spur our state’s economy, connect cross-border communities, and provide jobs for millions of Texans, so it’s important we ensure ports have the resources and information they need to run efficiently and safely,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m grateful to the Trump Administration for their support of this critical bill that will affect millions of Texans.”
“Michigan is home to two of our nation’s busiest trade crossings, and our economy relies on our ports of entry to securely and efficiently move goods and travelers across our border,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased this bipartisan bill has been signed into law to ensure Michigan’s ports have the necessary resources to keep our state a thriving hub for international commerce.”
The United States Ports of Entry Threat and Operational Review Act requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a threat and operational analysis of ports of entry, including:
• current and potential threats posed by individuals and organized groups seeking to exploit security vulnerabilities at ports of entry or to unlawfully enter the United States through such ports of entry;
• methods and pathways used to exploit security vulnerabilities at ports of entry;
• improvements needed at ports of entry to prevent the unlawful movement of people, illicit drugs, and other contraband across our borders;
• improvements needed to enhance travel and trade facilitation and reduce wait times at ports of entry;
• processes conducted at ports of entry that do not require law enforcement training that could be fulfilled with non-law enforcement staff; and
• improvements needed during secondary inspections to meet food safety standards.
This analysis should consider personnel needs, technology needs, and infrastructure needs at each port of entry, including their associated costs. It should suggest strategies to mitigate threats, reduce wait times, prevent unlawful activity, focus intelligence collection, identify fraudulent documents, prevent corruption, and adequately staff each port of entry.