2010-08-20 / Top Stories

Weiner Calls Border Security Law ‘A Good Start’

Representative Anthony Weiner, the only New York member of the House Immigration Subcommittee, praised a new law signed by President Obama that will provide nearly $600 million in funding to increase security along the United States’ southern border, help to prevent visa fraud, and set the stage for comprehensive immigration reform.

The border security law will significantly increase the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents along the southern border, as well as expand the government’s capacity to exclude those who are committing crimes while in the United States unlawfully.

Funding for the law is to come from significantly increased visa fees on applications filed by companies that attempt to hire 50 percent or more of their workers from abroad.

“While the path towards comprehensive immigration reform may be long and complex, this law – one which helps to secure our borders, focuses on excluding those that commit crimes, and seeks to eliminate visa fraud that reduces competition – is a good start,” Weiner said.

The border security law contains the following measures:

Beefs up Border Security: The law provides funding for hiring and training 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, 250 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and 250 Customs and Border Patrol agents that will operate along both ports of entry and the border between the United States and Mexico.

Cracks Down on Trafficking: Nearly one-third of the money will be allocated to the Department of Justice to increase cooperation between Homeland Security agencies and the FBI, the DEA, and the ATF to help bust drug and human trafficking rings.

Alleviates Backlogs: Four new judges will be appointed to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which adjudicates complex and appealed immigration cases. These judges will focus on the EOIR’s severe backlog so that those who are in the US unlawfully and committing crimes are excluded.

Protects Workers and Detects Fraud: Funds for the law will be raised by increasing fees on foreign-based companies that use U.S. visa programs, including the popular H-1B program, to staff their U.S. offices with 50 percent or more foreign workers.

The law was championed in the Senate by New York’s Chuck Schumer, who has long adopted immigration reform as a priority.

“There are few legislators who’ve had as much experience with this complex issue as Senator Schumer. This important law reflects his insistence on ensuring that comprehensive immigration reform is a priority for the Senate,” Weiner noted.

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