House Passes Katko Bill To Secure Northern Border

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday (Oct. 29) passed bipartisan legislation, H.R. 455, the Northern Border Security Review Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24). This bill, the seventh sponsored by Katko to pass the House, would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a much-needed analysis of current and potential threats along our nation’s northern border.

“While great attention is justifiably given to the challenges of securing our southern border, ensuring the safety of our vast northern border is also critical to our national security,” said Congressman Katko. “I served as a federal prosecutor on our border both at home in New York and in El Paso, Texas. I’ve seen firsthand the issues that our nation faces countering violent drug trafficking, organized crime, and potential terrorist acts.”

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

However, a GAO report indicated that only 69 miles, or about 2%, of the Northern Border are currently under operational control.  The assessment prescribed under this legislation will assist in determining the resources needed to increase operational control along the northern border.

“I’ve spent time with Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Control agents in my district,” said Rep. Katko. “This bill will help these officials address threats at and between ports of entry along the northern border.”

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Katko noted that several major terrorist plots have been uncovered and disrupted along the northern border in recent years.  He also noted the significance of his recent work as chair of the bipartisan Task Force on Combating Foreign Fighter Travel.

“As chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s bipartisan Task Force on Combating Foreign Fighter Travel, I’ve recently had the opportunity to conduct an in-depth examination of the vulnerabilities that we face at our northern border along with other gaps in our nation’s security,” said Rep. Katko. “Tough border security will ensure the safety of Upstate New York and the sovereignty of our nation. 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.”

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