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House OKs McSally border assessment bill

A measure sponsored by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally to require the Department of Homeland Security to review the security of the U.S.-Mexico border was approved by the House on Wednesday. The bill awaits action by the Senate.

The measure, which was approved on a voice vote, would require the department, which includes the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection, to assess the criminal and terrorism threats along the border, improvements needed at ports of entry, and the "current percentage of situational awareness and of operational control" of the border.

It would also mandate a review of gaps in laws and policies that hinder cooperation between the federal government and state, local, tribal and foreign governments to stem human smuggling and trafficking, and inhibit legal cross-border trade.

"This legislation is long overdue and badly needed," said McSally. "The last time DHS analyzed the threats coming across our border was over 20 years ago – a lot has changed since then."

"By requiring DHS to conduct a new border threat analysis and update their strategic plan based on new findings, this bill builds new trust in our system and our ability to accurately measure illicit activity along the border and respond to i," the Republican congresswoman said. "I'll continue working with my Senate colleagues to get this important legislation passed in the Senate and sent to the president's desk."

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