Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced the Advanced Border Coordination Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen border security by improving law enforcement communication and coordination at our southern border. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has periodically established joint operations hubs to help federal and local law enforcement agencies work together to address border security and transnational criminal activity like drug and human trafficking. This legislation would expand on this successful interagency cooperation model by establishing additional joint operations hubs along the southern border.
“From local sheriffs to Border Patrol and other federal law enforcement, our officers along the southern border are working every day to keep our communities safe, and we need to make it as easy as possible for them to work together,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Establishing more joint operations centers will help us continue to crack down on drug trafficking, human trafficking, and weapons smuggling, and I will continue working with Senator Blackburn to get this commonsense legislation signed into law.”
“Hamas’ horrific incursion into Israel and subsequent mass murder of innocent Israelis has been a solemn reminder of the critical importance of border security,” said Senator Blackburn. “Amid an unprecedented number of illegal immigrants arriving at the southern border, our Border Patrol agents are completely overwhelmed. Establishing multiple joint operation centers along the southern border will allow local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to work together in a cohesive fashion. The Advanced Border Coordination Act will also equip Border Patrol with the necessary tools to combat transnational gangs and hamper drug and human trafficking.”
Specifically, the Advanced Border Coordination Act would:
- Direct DHS to establish at least two joint operations centers along the southern border. These hubs would help law enforcement from multiple federal, state, local, and Tribal agencies work together.
- Establish these centralized hubs to improve field operations, help detect and deter criminal activity like drug and human trafficking, and support training coordination between participating agencies.
- Require an annual report to Congress on the centers’ operational activities and recommendations for coordinated federal actions at the southern border.
The Advanced Border Coordination Act is endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council, National Immigration Forum, the Texas Border Coalition, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
The first and only Latina Senator, Senator Cortez Masto has consistently pushed to fix our broken immigration system by balancing critical border security measures with a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers. Last week she urged the Biden administration to prioritize additional resources to stop the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl through ports of entry along the border.