House spending bill would provide $5B for barriers, tech on southern border


The House’s Homeland Security funding bill for next year includes $5 billion for border security efforts, including new “barrier construction” along the U.S.-Mexico border — easily outpacing the Senate’s version, which sets aside $1.6 billion for fencing along the southern border.

The bill, unveiled Wednesday, had been the last of the 12 annual funding measures for 2019 released by House Republicans, and it’s perhaps the most contentious amid the divisive immigration debate in Washington.

The $5 billion would be for “physical barriers and associated technology along the U.S. southern border,” including $126 million for border technology, according to Republicans on the committee.

Rep. Kevin Yoder, Kansas Republican, said the bill takes “the largest steps in years” toward fulfilling pledges to secure the southern border.

“We add funding for more than 200 miles of physical barrier, hundreds of new immigration and customs enforcement agents, and state of the art technology that will give our law enforcement agencies the tools they need to keep us safe,” said Mr. Yoder, chairman of the Appropriations homeland security subcommittee. – READ MORE


Last week, CBS reporter David Begnaud posted a video online of his tense encounter with a human trafficker at the southern border as he witnessed two migrants guided across the Rio Grande “in broad daylight” just a few hundred yards from a border checkpoint.

Begnaud — whom John Sexton notes is the same reporter who debunked the false claims about the iconic “crying girl” photograph — went down to the border at Roma, Texas for a story about plans to survey the land for a future security fence. Stationed at a “lookout point” near a U.S. Customs checkpoint, Begnaud and his producer drove over the international bridge to the Mexican side of the river, leaving the camera crew on the American side.

That’s when Begnaud witnessed a smuggler using a raft to deliver two people across the border to the American side. When Begnaud began to film the illegal crossing on his cell phone, a “scout” approached him from his right, threatening that he was “not safe” and needed to leave, which Begnaud caught on film. The threats from the trafficker grew intense enough that Begnaud and his producer became afraid for their safety and headed back to the border checkpoint.- READ MORE

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