Nation

Measures to secure the border

Border provisions of the underlying bill:

 The bill sets goals of covering 100 percent of the Mexican border with surveillance, and detaining or turning back 90 percent of would-be crossers.

 Within six months of enactment of the bill, the Homeland Security Department must develop a border security plan to achieve those goals — including the use of drones, additional agents, and other approaches — and develop a separate plan to identify where more fencing is needed.

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 If the goals of a 90 percent effectiveness rate and continuous surveillance on the border are not met within five years, a Southern Border Security Commission would be established with border-state governors and others to determine how to achieve them.

 Before anyone in the US illegally can get a new provisional legal status, the border security and border fencing plans must be in place. Before they can get permanent residency, the plans must be substantially completed, and a new entry-exit system must also be implemented at US seaports and airports to track people coming and going. A mandatory system for employers to check workers’ status must also be in place.

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 About 3,500 new customs agents would be hired.

 The National Guard would be deployed to the border to build fencing and checkpoints and perform other tasks.

Provisions of the Corker-Hoeven amendment:

 The amendment adds 19,000 new Border Patrol agents, doubling the deployment along the US-Mexico border.

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 It calls for 700 miles of fencing to be completed — 350 more than in the underlying bill.

 The plan calls for a dozen additional surveillance drones and an array of other high-tech devices to monitor the border with Mexico, including cameras and observation towers, seismic imaging and thermal imaging, and an airborne radar system initially used by the military.

 No one could get a green card until all these steps are in place. Government officials including the secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense must certify to Congress that the security measures have been implemented.

Associated Press

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