HSGAC Hearing Statement: Perspectives from the DHS Frontline: Evaluating Staffing Resources and Requirements

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Tom Carper, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the committee’s hearing, “Perspectives from the DHS Frontline: Evaluating Staffing Resources and Requirements.”

“I’ve made a number of trips to our country’s borders over the past 15 years, and on each trip to our southern border with Mexico, I had the opportunity to hear from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel on the ground. Time and time again, they tell me that technology is the key to border security.

“President Trump’s executive order to begin the immediate construction of a border wall will create a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle. We know that a wall is not a silver bullet to border security because we know there have been thousands of breaches along the 650 miles of fencing we already have. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to rescind this executive order. While there are parts of the border where a wall or fencing would be cost-effective, we should rely on common sense solutions instead of spending astronomical sums to run up our nation’s debt to fulfill a campaign promise.

“Today I want to hear from officials about the layers of smart, proven technologies Congress should invest in to help border agents achieve their mission. I call them ‘force multipliers.’ These force multipliers include advanced cameras, radars, underground sensors and night vision equipment that can detect unauthorized entries in real time. They include drones, aerostats, fixed wing aircraft, boat launches, boats and horses. The strategy we develop to secure our borders should be informed by facts on the ground, not the other way around.”