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Cornyn succeeds in doubling funding for local law enforcement in Immigration Bill

$100 million will help local law enforcement secure our borders and protect our citizens, Cornyn says.

From the Office of Senator John Cornyn

June 15, 2007

Government - Senator Cornyn pictureWASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate June 4 unanimously approved an amendment by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, top Republican on the Immigration and Border Security subcommittee, to double the amount of funding for local law enforcement officials for immigration enforcement efforts. Approval of the amendment to the pending immigration reform bill comes as the Senate resumes consideration of the issue this week.

“The funding level set initially in this measure was a good start, but the federal government can and should do more. For far too long, local law enforcement and taxpayers along the border have been forced to bear the costs of our broken immigration system. It’s time for the federal government to own up to its responsibilities,” U.S. Sen. Cornyn said. “Under this new funding program, the men and women on the front lines will be given the necessary support to do their jobs and ensure local communities don’t have to foot the bill. I’m grateful for the support my amendment received this evening by my colleagues in the Senate.”

This funding reimburses border law enforcement officials who participate in immigration training programs to identify, process and detain immigration offenders. Sen. Cornyn’s amendment doubles the amount of funding authorized in the bill from $50 million to $100 million for the Border Relief Grant Program.

The pending immigration bill currently includes the following:

$50 million/year (FY 2008-2012) for law enforcement grants (equipment; personnel; technology; operational costs).

Preference for communities within 100 miles of border and population under 50,000.

2/3 of funds set aside for 6 states with largest number of illegal alien apprehensions (4 of 6 are the states along the U.S.-Mexico border, including Texas ); 1/3 for areas designated as “High Impact Areas” by Secretary of Homeland Security.

Sen. Cornyn’s amendment would do the following:

Double the grant funding from $50 to $100 million.

These funds can be used:

  1. To obtain equipment;
  2. To hire additional personnel;
  3. To upgrade and maintain law enforcement technology; and
  4. To cover operational costs, including overtime and transportation costs.

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Refugees subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

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