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Ferguson proposes $23 billion border wall bill

  • By Winston Skinner
  • |
  • Jul. 23, 2018 - 4:12 PM

U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson has a plan to secure the nation’s borders.

Ferguson, who represents Georgia’s Third District, which includes Coweta County, introduced the American Border Act, H.R. 6415 on Thursday. According to a press release from Ferguson’s office, the legislation “would authorize full funding for construction of a wall along our southern border.”

The proposal calls for physical barriers and the use of technology to secure the nation’s borders. 

Costs mentioned in the bill include $23.4 billion for border security, including $16.625 billion for “a border wall system along the southern border of the United States” and $6.775 billion for “infrastructure, assets, operations and technology to enhance border security” along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ferguson proposes spending the funds to build the wall between 2019-2023.

The proposal also calls for use of personnel and technology in controlling the borders. Drones and a biometric identification system for aliens crossing the border are mentioned in the bill.

Ferguson’s bill would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to choose not to place physical borders in certain places “where natural terrain features, natural barriers or the remoteness of such area … would make such deployment ineffective.” The Homeland Security chief would be authorized to deploy “the most practical and effective physical barriers and tactical infrastructure for achieving situational awareness and operational control of the border.”

Ferguson’s bill addresses worker safety and authorizes a program to block tunnels used for illegal border crossing. The bill would authorize National Guardsmen to help with border security at the request of the governor of a state and would authorize eradication of carrizo cane and salt cedars along the Rio Grande River because they impede security operations.

In addition, the resolution called for the establishment of a National Border Security Committee comprised of members from each state with five or more years of border security experience or who live and work within 80 miles of the border. 

“It is simply impossible to correct the many flaws in our immigration system if we fail to secure our border first. That’s why building a wall along our southern border is paramount,” Ferguson said.

“This bill ensures the wall receives full funding and clears the way for its construction,” he added. “I will continue to stand with the president to secure the border and stop illegal immigration.”