The U.S. Congress has The nation's officials have been debating the pros and cons of various budget cuts and funding for months now. The most recent vote by the U.S. Senate has added a security provision to bipartisan immigration legislation that would add 20,000 Border Patrol agents and provide funding for additional fencing (approximately 700 miles worth) and surveillance technology, reported Police Magazine.
The immigration and border security legislation passes, but not without controversy
The Hill reported that the bill passed by a vote of 67-27. The amendment will boost security spending by $30 billion and is intended to address concerns about the U.S.-Mexico border. Overall, the bill will increase spending on security measures by $38 billion when added with the $8 billion previously included in the bill – $4.5 billion of which is dedicated to technology and other equipment that will increase surveillance of the border.
"The head of the border patrol has said unequivocally to me that if you get this technological equipment in, that he is confident that we will have 90 percent effective control of the border and 100 percent situational awareness," said Arizona Senator John McCain, chief Republican sponsor of the broader bill, according to the news source.
The increase in the number of Border Patrol agents would bring the total number of those stationed in the southwest to 38,400, or an average of one for every 1,000 feet of border, reported Fierce Homeland Security.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security supports revised bill
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has already expressed support for the revised version of the bill.
"The President has made clear that commonsense immigration reform legislation must include measures to strengthen border security, create a path to earned citizenship, crack down on employers that hire undocumented workers, and streamline our legal immigration system so everyone is playing by the same set of rules. The border security amendment agreed to by a bipartisan group of Senators is in line with that criteria, it will devote important additional resources to the robust border security system this Administration has put in place and strengthen what was already an unmatched piece of border security legislation," said Napolitano, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.
What will the increase in Border Patrol agents require?
Adding 20,000 Border Patrol agents is no small task and leaders in charge of such an operation will require the assistance of comprehensive tools that streamline training processes in Artesia, New Mexico where the Border Patrol trains. The Border Patrol has taken bold steps to automate all phases of their extensive training programs with the Acadis Readiness Suite. Acadis replaced numerous legacy systems at the Border Patrol with a consolidated training automation framework for their numerous academies and field training programs. With the Readiness Suite, all phases of an agent's training can be managed and electronically tracked which reduces the overall burden on administrative staff and budgets.
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