U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) Friday introduced legislation that would establish a $25 billion trust fund to enhance U.S. border security. The legislation would also codify protections for those individuals who, through no fault of their own, entered the United States illegally as children and are currently covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“This bill returns to the basics of what a majority of my colleagues and the president support – providing the necessary resources to strengthen and modernize border security in addition to long-term certainty to DACA recipients,” said Sen. Moran. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this sensible solution that provides us a realistic path forward to resolve this partial government shutdown.”
“A fair and reasonable solution will put in place stronger border security measures consistent with the president’s request while also codifying the protections for the DACA population,” said Sen. Portman. “Those in the DACA program are here through no fault of their own, and for many, this is the only country they know. This measure represents a permanent legislative solution that will allow those in the DACA program to stay here and continue to contribute to our society while strengthening our border security to protect all Americans. I believe we have a responsibility to resolve this issue, and this legislation is a fair and responsible solution that could get the necessary votes to become law.”
Items to Note:
The trust fund that would be established by the Portman-Moran legislation would include payment for no fewer than 700 miles of reinforced fencing (excluding vehicle barriers), additional physical barriers, access and patrol roads, lighting, an interlocking surveillance camera system, remote sensors, and the purchase of surplus Department of Defense aircraft and unmanned systems.
The legislation would codify DACA protections for only the existing population of people who are currently covered by the program, and it would preserve the current renewal process at two-year intervals.