Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

SUBCOMMITTEE SUPPORTS BORDERS, SECURITY

Increases Border Patrol agents, immigration enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A U.S. Senate subcommittee approved the fiscal year 2006 Homeland Security appropriations bill today. Idaho Senator Larry Craig, a member of the subcommittee that wrote the bill, supported the legislation to enhance homeland security efforts and immigration enforcement.

The bill continues the process of adding the 500 new Border Patrol Agents required by the Byrd-Craig Amendment to the FY 2005 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, and provides for 1,000 more agents, for a total of 1,500 new agents, bringing total Border Patrol strength to 12,449 in FY 2006, up from 10,949 in FY 2005. It also increases the total number of beds at immigration detention centers to more than 22,000, an increase of more than 2,200, and steps up other immigration enforcement efforts domestically.
“The first, fundamental responsibility of the federal government is to protect our people through a strong national defense and promote homeland security,” Craig said. “Border security and immigration reform are critical components of a secure homeland. This legislation recognizes that and continues with improvements that have made our nation much safer than it was on, and immediately after, September 11, 2001.”
The major homeland security activities in the $31 billion bill include Customs and Border Protection; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; support for state and local anti-terrorism and emergency response programs; and national emergency preparedness.

Significant counter-terrorism measures include airline safety, baggage security, and transit protection initiatives of the Transportation Security Administration; and science and technology research and development of biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures; critical infrastructure protection; and cyber security

The bill now will go before the full Senate Appropriations Committee for approval, and then before the full Senate.

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