H.R. 3401 (112th): Enhanced Border Security Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Nov 10, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3401

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 10, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Homeland Security and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To apply counterinsurgency tactics under a coordinated and targeted strategy to combat the terrorist insurgency in Mexico waged by transnational criminal organizations, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Enhanced Border Security Act.

2.

Statement of purpose

It is the purpose of this Act to protect United States citizens from external threats by establishing and applying appropriate counterinsurgency tactics under a coordinated and targeted strategy to combat the terrorist insurgency in Mexico waged by transnational criminal organizations by utilizing cross-agency capabilities to—

(1)

secure the United States-Mexico border through a secure border area;

(2)

curtail the ability of such organizations to finance their operations with United States funds in cities throughout the United States; and

(3)

increase the ability of the Government of Mexico to—

(A)

reduce violence;

(B)

diminish corruption;

(C)

improve cooperation between military and law enforcement;

(D)

stabilize communities; and

(E)

fortify functioning government institutions.

3.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Mexican drug cartels have evolved into transnational criminal organizations and diversified and expanded their illicit activities, including human smuggling, trafficking in stolen oil, weapons smuggling, extortion, kidnapping, and cybercrime.

(2)

Mexican drug cartels have increased their profits through various illicit activities and have become more resilient and dangerous organizations. Rough estimates of stolen oil proceeds range between $2 billion and $4 billion each year. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), approximately $6.6 billion annually is generated from human smuggling from Latin America to the United States.

(3)

A July 2011 White House report found that transnational criminal organizations have expanded and matured, threatening the security of citizens and the stability of governments throughout the region, with direct security implications for the United States.

(4)

An August 2011 Department of Justice National Drug Threat Assessment found that Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations were operating in more than 1,000 United States cities during 2009 and 2010.

(5)

On October 11, 2011, a foiled terrorist assassination plot of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador by members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps demonstrated the internationally recognized threat posed by Mexican drug cartel members at the United States-Mexico border.

(6)

The Mérida Initiative, led by the Department of State, has failed to address the evolution of the drug trafficking organizations into transnational criminal organizations, the diversification of their illicit activities, and the systematic implementation of insurgency tactics that undermines the Mexican state and seeks to control the political space.

(7)

The Mérida Initiative has faced implementation challenges and programmatic delays. A July 2010 Government Accountability Office report highlighted Mérida Initiative delays associated with equipment deliveries as well as a lack of clear benchmarks for programmatic success.

(8)

The utilization of counterinsurgency tactics will focus on isolating Mexican transnational criminal organizations from their sources of power, such as drugs, money, human resources, and weapons, while addressing both military and non-military conditions and border conditions sustaining the insurgency, including corruption, infighting, financing, and human support.

(9)

The end goal of the coordinated and targeted strategy is to protect United States citizens from external threats through the empowering of a friendly and competent government that operates within international laws and regulations and is able to secure itself from internal threats.

4.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Terrorist insurgency

The term terrorist insurgency means the protracted use of irregular warfare, including extreme displays of public violence utilized by transnational criminal organizations to influence public opinion and to undermine government control and rule of law in order to increase the control and influence of the organizations.

(2)

Transnational criminal organization or organization

The term transnational criminal organization or organization means a self-perpetuating association of individuals who—

(A)

operate transnationally for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary gain, or commercial gain wholly or in part by illegal means; and

(B)

protect their activities—

(i)

through a pattern of corruption or violence; or

(ii)

through a transnational organizational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms.

5.

Counterinsurgency strategy and conditionality

(a)

Counterinsurgency strategy

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a counterinsurgency strategy that—

(1)

defines and outlines the transnational criminal organizations in Mexico, their leaders, goals, objectives, evolution, key elements, and areas of influence;

(2)

provides an assessment of the terrain, population, ports, financial centers, and income-generating activities utilized by transnational criminal organizations;

(3)

assesses the capabilities of Mexico’s federal law enforcement, military forces, state and local government institutions, and other critical elements, such as nongovernmental organizations that may organize to counter the threat posed by transnational criminal organizations;

(4)

describes operations of, or on behalf of, transnational criminal organizations within the United States, including information on trafficking activities, financial networks, and safe havens;

(5)

describes operations of transnational criminal organizations at the United States-Mexico border, the Mexico-Guatemala border, and other international borders, including operations relating to contraband, human support networks, financial support, and technological advancements;

(6)

utilizes information obtained under paragraphs (1) through (5) to coordinate with relevant United States agencies to address the operations of transnational criminal organizations within the United States, at the United States-Mexico border, and within Mexico to isolate such organizations from their sources of power in order to successfully combat the terrorist insurgency in Mexico;

(7)

includes—

(A)

within the United States, a plan to combat the operations, financial networks, and money laundering techniques of transnational criminal organizations, including—

(i)

a dramatic increase of the number of Mexican and Central American drug traffickers on the Specially Designated Nationals list;

(ii)

a report by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury detailing the progress of designating Mexican and Central American individuals and entities supporting such organization on the Specially Designated Nationals list, as well as providing suggestions to help identify areas to further impact the financial networks of such organizations;

(iii)

increasing cooperation between the Department of Justice and State and local agencies responsible for firearms law enforcement; and

(iv)

development of a thorough, strict, and standardized accounting procedure for keeping track of Federal grant assistance provided to State and local law enforcement agencies for border security purposes;

(B)

at the United States-Mexico border, in coordination with the Government of Mexico and the Department of Homeland Security, a plan to address resources, technology, and infrastructure required to create a secure border area that establishes border security as a top priority of the Government of the United States, including—

(i)

doubling the number of Border Patrol agents over the number in existence as of the date of the enactment of this Act, or as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in a comprehensive report on the best use of resources, technology, and infrastructure to secure the border;

(ii)

development of a plan to build additional infrastructure to support Border Patrol activities along the border that would enhance security in hard-to-enforce areas, such as roads and tactical double layered fencing as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security;

(iii)

determining technology required to support Border Patrol activities in reducing unlawful movement of goods and people at the border, including cameras, radars, sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles;

(iv)

a report by the Attorney General that provides a policy that standardizes the threshold for prosecution of border-related offenses by the United States Attorney’s Office;

(v)

a plan to develop a joint United States-Mexico program to increase intelligence gathering utilizing classified technologies; and

(vi)

increased use of Border Patrol Special Response Teams that concentrate on high-priority threats, including weapons and bulk cash smuggling, and high-potency, high-cash-value drugs along the border; and

(C)

within Mexico, in coordination with the Government of Mexico, the development of a multi-agency action plan, including—

(i)

development of strong rule-of-law institutions to provide security for people and businesses in Mexico by—

(I)

increasing coordination among military and law enforcement agencies focused on establishing and expanding secure areas around key population centers;

(II)

increasing knowledge of best practices for combating such organizations, incorporating United States military and law enforcement lessons learned, worldwide counterinsurgency experts in training programs, and as appropriate, training carried out by international law enforcement academies; and

(III)

securing the environment, as recommended in separate reports by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence;

(ii)

diminish support for transnational criminal organizations by—

(I)

instituting programs to strengthen governance and rule of law, such as promoting a culture of lawfulness and providing incentives to United States businesses operating in Mexico that promote and support culture of lawfulness efforts;

(II)

developing safe communities for families and youth by enhancing and recreating successful youth programs and anti-drug coalitions, enhancing public education regarding the activities of such organizations, and promoting economic development; and

(III)

promoting the creation and enhancement of the institutions of good local governance; and

(iii)

neutralize transnational criminal organizations by—

(I)

re-evaluating threats within Mexican regions in order to assign a specialized task force to key regions designed to concentrate on high-priority targets and separate such organizations from their sources of support;

(II)

requesting the support of United States military advisors to assist the Mexican regional task forces; and

(III)

supporting Mexican federal law enforcement operations that provide services to the population while gathering raw intelligence and providing such intelligence to regional task forces; and

(8)

includes a report on Mexican and Central American extradition requests and extraditions carried out.

(b)

Updates

(1)

Office of Foreign Assets Control

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury shall submit to the congressional committees specified in subsection (a) updates on a quarterly basis of the information required to be included in the counterinsurgency strategy under subsection (a)(7)(A)(ii).

(2)

Secretary of State

The Secretary of States shall submit to the congressional committees specified in subsection (a) updates on a quarterly basis of the information required to be included in the counterinsurgency strategy under subsection (a)(8).

(c)

Withholding of funds

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the Secretary of State does not submit the counterinsurgency strategy required under subsection (a) in accordance with such subsection, then 20 percent of the amounts otherwise made available to the Department of State for fiscal year 2012 shall be withheld from obligation and expenditure until such time as the strategy is submitted in accordance with such subsection.

6.

Funding for development and implementation of counterinsurgency strategy

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds made available to the Department of State for the Merida Initiative are authorized to be made available to develop and implement the counterinsurgency strategy required under section 5(a).