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Congressman Ensures Language to Safeguard Upstate New York Border Included in Border Security Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (NY-24) today (Jan. 22) announced his introduction of bipartisan legislation to ensure adequate safeguards are put in place to secure the northern border.

The bill (H.R. 455) would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a northern border threat analysis.

The bill is Katko’s first since being elected to serve Central New York in the 114th Congress and has bipartisan support from his fellow Homeland Security Committee members including Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Rep. Candice Miller (MI-10), as well as Rep. Peter King (NY-2), and Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26).

“As a former federal prosecutor on both the northern border in New York and the southern border in El Paso, Texas, I’ve seen first-hand the issues our nation faces countering drug trafficking and potential terrorist acts,” said Katko. “While great attention is justifiably given to the challenges of securing our southern border, ensuring the safety of our vast northern border is critical to our nation’s security.”

The United States shares nearly 4,000 miles of northern border with Canada in the lower-48 states alone.

The 24th Congressional District includes portions of the New York-Canada border and notably, is home to the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station, the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, the Port of Oswego and the Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

In addition to the introduction of his inaugural bill, the House Committee on Homeland Security, on which Katko sits, passed the Secure Our Borders First Act (H.R. 399) late Wednesday with the inclusion of a comprehensive authorization amendment offered by Katko.

Katko’s amendment significantly enhances this legislation by authorizing the same type of technology and resource deployment on the northern border as it does for the southern border.

“Katko’s amendment to H.R. 399 addresses the critical threats to our northern border,” said Chairman McCaul. “I believe his amendment strengthens the overall direction of the bill and helps protect the American people and sovereignty of this nation.”

The Secure Our Borders First Act also includes the threat assessment language of Katko’s standalone bill, H.R. 455.

“I’m committed to enacting tough border security to ensure the safety of Upstate New York and the sovereignty of our nation,” Katko said. “Requiring timely assessment of the threats posed by illegal entry on both the northern and southern border and adequately responding to these threats is crucial to making that happen.”

Katko represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne counties and a portion of Oswego County.

For more information, please visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.