‘Border Bill’ only starts to solve security issues, experts say

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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The Southwest Border Security Bill President Obama signed on Friday pledges $600 million in additional funding for 1,500 new agents and new unmanned surveillance drones along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote the bill*, which passed the Senate with unanimous consent and broad bipartisan support in the House.

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s minority ranking member, was the most outspoken in Washington last week about the bill being only a start to a longer, more in-depth border security solution.

“Right now, it [the passing of the border bill] seems more like an effort to receive positive press than to genuinely improve the critical border situation,” Sessions said in a statement on Thursday.

This bill is a start, former El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) director Phil Jordan said in an interview with The Daily Caller. Jordan called securing the border a “Texas two-step,” or a process that takes more than just sending bundles of unorganized resources. EPIC is a multi-agency task force operating along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“It [the border bill Obama signed on Friday] is a small step,” Jordan said. “In order to complete the Texas two-step, you’ve got to come out with a better follow-up plan.”

Jordan said that throwing tons of money and resources at the border seems to him like a political ploy and Democrats and Republicans alike will go back to not caring about border security after the November midterm elections until the next election cycle comes around.

“After the elections, the fear-mongers and McCains of the world will put it [border security] on the back-burner and forget about it,” he said. “Fear-mongering can only help the drug cartels organize crime because it redirects resources to places where they’re ineffective. Washington has always disregarded the border until elections.”

Sessions is pushing Washington and President Obama for a stronger border security solution instead of just the usual election-cycle politics.

“Make no mistake: while this small measure can have some value, if it is not followed by strong, sustained action it is yet another gesture without consequence,” Sessions said in the statement.

Jordan recommends redirecting any and all National Guard resources to federal agencies operating in the area, which include the FBI, DEA, ICE and Border Patrol, because the National Guard doesn’t have the ability to arrest suspects.

“Anybody that thinks Border Patrol, the FBI, ICE and the DEA aren’t doing anything is wrong,” Jordan said. “They just need more help from Washington.”

Jordan said a bigger threat Washington continually fails to realize is that Mexico’s political and social instability present an ideal environment for al Qaeda to exploit to get into the United States easily.

“Al Qaeda realizes how porous the [U.S.-Mexico] border is,” he said.

*Correction: This article originally misstated that Republican Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl wrote the Southwest Border Security Bill. They co-sponsored the legislation, but did not write it.