June 21, 2022

Cortez Masto Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Law Enforcement Operations at U.S. Southern Border

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced the Advanced Border Coordination Act, 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 multiple 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.

“Since my time as Nevada’s Attorney General, I’ve stood up for commonsense border security measures,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “When I traveled to the southern border in 2019, I saw firsthand the joint operations model's effectiveness in detecting drug and human trafficking and securing our border. We know the joint operations model works, and I’m proud to introduce this legislation to expand these programs. I will continue to work on fixing our broken immigration system to make it both more secure and more humane.”

Senator Cortez Masto has been a strong advocate for meaningful immigration reform that balances critical border security measures with a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers. She has repeatedly advocated for protections for immigrant communities as well as long-term fixes to border security, including in direct talks with the Biden administration. Senator Cortez Masto has introduced her landmark immigration bill, the Fairness for Immigrant Families Act, aimed at updating important parts of our immigration system. She has visited detention centers in Nevada and at the U.S.-Mexico border as well as advocated for humane treatment for detainees. She has also urged DHS officials to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling protecting DACA recipients.

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 can work together.
  • Establish that these centralized hubs serve as resources to improve field operations, help detect and deter criminal activity, like drug and human trafficking, and support workforce development and 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 Immigration Forum, the Texas Border Coalition, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association. 

You can read the bill text here.