Bill introduced to enhance northern border security measures

Seizures of weapons and drugs also continue to set records at the northern border.

Published: July 8, 2024 11:02pm

(The Center Square) -

A congressman whose district lies along the northern border in upstate New York has filed a bill to strengthen northern border security measures.

U.S. Rep. Nick Langworthy, R-New York, whose district shares an international border with Canada along Lake Erie, introduced the Northern Border Security Enhancement and Review Act in an attempt to respond to “escalating security concerns at the U.S.-Canada border.”

“Our northern border, the world’s longest unsecured border, poses a major threat to our national security, with hundreds of thousands of unidentified individuals streaming into our communities every year,” Langworthy said. “The Biden Administration’s neglect has left us completely vulnerable,” saying he introduced the bill “to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable and ensure they report to Congress.”

He did so after The Center Square has been reporting for years on the lack of operational control at the northern border, which officials say poses a serious national security threat.

The northern border has seen the highest number of illegal entries in U.S. history under the Biden administration, The Center Square first reported. Last month, the number of illegal border crossers continued to break records after in May the greatest number were apprehended for the month of May in recorded history.

The greatest number of known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) have also consistently been apprehended at the northern border, The Center Square first reported. Seizures of weapons and drugs also continue to set records at the northern border.

Langworthy said he’s met with Border Patrol agents working in upstate New York “and witnessed their struggle firsthand – they are severely under-supported and left to face this crisis with limited resources. This legislation is not just a necessity; it's a demand for more transparency from the Biden Administration as it comes to the safety and sovereignty of our nation.”

The bill mandates that DHS conduct and submit a Northern Border Threat Analysis every year and update its Northern Border Strategy within 90 days of the analysis being published. It also requires DHS to provide classified briefings to Congress within 30 days of the threat analysis submission, among other measures.

The bill has multiple Republican cosponsors including those who represent northern border states.

Cosponsor and fellow Republican New York colleague, U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler, said, “In the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2024, nearly twice as many individuals on the Known or Suspected Terrorist list were apprehended at our northern border than our southern border. Enough fentanyl has been seized at the northern border to kill over 270 million Americans. In total, nearly twice as many individuals have been apprehended at the northern border so far in 2024 than at the same point in 2023. Yet, despite these disturbing statistics, the crisis at our porous northern border has been even more egregiously overlooked than the crisis at our southern border.”

While much attention has focused on the southwest border, the greatest number of KSTs to ever be apprehended in U.S. history were at the northern border in fiscal 2023, breaking fiscal 2022’s record, The Center Square first reported.

This fiscal year through June 20, the greatest number of KSTs continue to be apprehended at the northern border, 199 so far, according to CBP data. By comparison, 117 have been apprehended at the southwest border.

No one knows how many terrorist watch-listed individuals have illegally entered who weren’t caught, multiple officials have told The Center Square.

“The northern border is under-resourced by far compared to the southwest border,” former Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan told The Center Square. “But at the same time, it still represents significant threats. Cartels are expanding their operations, flying people into Canada, which doesn’t require a visa, presenting an opportunity for terrorist watch-listed individuals to exploit. It’s much easier to get to Canada to come across.”

The U.S.-Canada border is the longest international border in the world of 5,525 miles. Unlike the U.S.-Mexico border, there are no border walls or similar barriers separating the U.S. from Canada and most of the northern border is physically unmanned and unpatrolled.

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