H.R. 6280 (112th): United States-Mexico Cross-Border Security Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Aug 02, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6280

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 2, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Cuellar, Mr. McCaul, Mr. Barber, Mr. Canseco, Mr. Bilirakis, and Mr. Westmoreland) 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 a Whole-of-Government Plan that integrates the full capabilities and authorities of each Federal department and agency, in coordination with the Government of Mexico, to combat Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the United States-Mexico Cross-Border Security Act of 2012.

2.

Statement of purpose

It is the purpose of this Act to protect United States citizens from external threats by establishing and applying a Whole-of-Government Plan that integrates the full capabilities and authorities of each Federal department and agency, in coordination with the Government of Mexico, to combat Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations by utilizing cross-agency capabilities to—

(1)

curtail the ability of such organizations to finance their operations in the United States using illicit proceeds from criminal activities;

(2)

secure the United States-Mexico border at and between ports of entry; and

(3)

continue to improve 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 that embrace strong human rights standards and accountability measures.

3.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

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

(2)

Mexican drug trafficking organizations have increased their profits through various illicit activities and have become more resilient and dangerous organizations.

(3)

A July 2011 White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime 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 international perception of Mexican drug cartel members’ operability in the United States.

(6)

According to press reports, there have been more than 55,000 organized crime-related homicides in Mexico since December 2006, and a June 2012 Congressional Research Service report stated that the violence now associated with drug trafficking organizations in Mexico is of an entirely different scale … the bloodletting is not only associated with resolving disputes or maintaining discipline, but it is directed toward the government and news media ….

(7)

Border security is paramount to the economic prosperity of both the United States and Mexico. In 2011, $500 billion in goods and services trade crossed the border. Mexico is the second-largest export market for the United States, and the United States is Mexico’s largest export market. The $34 billion in United States export growth to Mexico in 2011 was greater in absolute terms than compared with any other country. Safeguarding this valuable trade must be a top priority for both governments.

(8)

Mérida Initiative funding, led by the Department of State, has concluded, and a Whole-of-Government Plan is needed to solidify the gains made under the Mérida Initiative and address the evolution of Mexican drug trafficking organizations into transnational criminal organizations.

(9)

The purpose of a Whole-of-Government Plan is to protect United States citizens from external threats through increased interagency collaboration and the empowering of a friendly government that operates within international standards and regulations and is able to secure itself from internal threats.

4.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and

(B)

the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.

(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.

(3)

Whole-of-Government Plan

The term Whole-of-Government Plan means a rapid and coordinated effort that reflects the full capabilities and resources, and support from the highest levels, of the United States Government.

5.

Whole-of-Government Plan to combat Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations

(a)

Establishment

The President, acting through the National Security Council Interagency Group established under section 6, shall develop a Whole-of-Government Plan, in coordination with the Government of Mexico (including, if appropriate, classified provisions), to combat Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations.

(b)

Contents

The Whole-of-Government Plan established under subsection (a) shall—

(1)

define and outline transnational criminal organizations in Mexico, including their leaders, goals, objectives, evolution, political control, and other key elements and areas of influence;

(2)

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

(3)

assess the capabilities of Mexico’s 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 such transnational criminal organizations;

(4)

illustrate operations of, or on behalf of, such transnational criminal organizations within the United States, including classified and unclassified mappings of their activities within the United States, information on trafficking activities, and illegal drug export revenues broken down by major drugs, financial networks, and safe havens;

(5)

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

(6)

include—

(A)

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

(i)

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

(ii)

mapping of transnational criminal organization activities within the United States, coordinated between the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and State and local agencies; and

(iii)

a coordinated strategy between the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, other Federal departments and agencies, and State and local agencies to enforce existing laws relating to border security and firearms law enforcement;

(B)

along the United States-Mexico border, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, an interagency risk management plan that establishes border security as a top United States Government priority by addressing resources, technology, personnel, and infrastructure required to create a secure southern border, including—

(i)

an analysis of United States ports of entry, including percentages of apprehensions of persons engaged in major crime, and estimates of illegal goods and persons that transit the southern border that escape United States law enforcement action;

(ii)

a five-year plan that reviews staffing needs at ports of entry, including a resource allocation model for current and future year staffing requirements, a plan for optimizing staffing levels for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other United States Government agencies, a plan for personnel to carry out the mission of trade facilitation, travel, security, and all other border functions, with an analysis of the ability to target high-potency, high-cash-value drugs that serve as the largest revenue source for such transnational criminal organizations;

(iii)

a modernization and infrastructure assessment of General Services Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection-owned or -managed ports of entry to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection activities (including northbound and southbound checks) that details critical infrastructure improvements, technology additions, and other resources that would enhance border security to stop the unlawful movement of goods and people across the United States-Mexico border;

(iv)

deployment of technologies, including cameras, radars, sensors, tunnel detection technologies, and unmanned aerial vehicles, required by Border Patrol agents to stop unlawful movement of goods and people in hard-to-enforce areas at the southern border;

(v)

a plan detailing actions to increase the use of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-led Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) teams that enhance information sharing, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection-Border Patrol Tactical Units (BORTAC) that concentrate on high-priority threats, including weapons and bulk cash smuggling, and high-potency, high-cash-value drugs along the southern border;

(vi)

a plan detailing actions to increase intelligence gathering utilizing classified and unclassified technologies, including leveraging the interagency El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) for coordination to counter such transnational criminal organizations; and

(vii)

a plan detailing actions to increase coordination, collaboration, and training focused on joint United States-Mexico efforts to secure the United States-Mexico border; and

(C)

within Mexico, in coordination with a multiagency Government of Mexico effort, a plan to increase local capabilities to combat illegal activity and violence, including—

(i)

development of strong rule-of-law institutions, by—

(I)

assisting in the establishment of a system for judicial and prosecutorial reform at the state level to enhance security for citizens and businesses in Mexico, as well as accountability for Mexican military and law enforcement personnel;

(II)

teaching best practice techniques for utilizing law enforcement in the targeting of such transnational criminal organizations, incorporating United States military and law enforcement lessons learned; and

(III)

enhancing work with Mexican officials to establish and implement a state-level law enforcement vetting and training program;

(ii)

diminishing support for such transnational criminal organizations by—

(I)

assisting the Government of Mexico to develop a plan to cut off financial assets within Mexico of those entities and individuals identified under OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals list;

(II)

aiming programs at expanding the trust of the populace, requiring all vetted law enforcement personnel to be trained in teaching culture of lawfulness programs, and providing incentives to United States businesses operating in Mexico that promote and support culture of lawfulness efforts; and

(III)

developing safe communities for families and youth by enhancing and recreating successful youth programs and antidrug coalitions, public education, health care access, and economic development programs through the work of the United States Agency for International Development and Mexican NGOs to prevent such transnational criminal organizations from exploiting socio-economic conditions that fuel violence; and

(iii)

dismantling such transnational criminal organizations by—

(I)

focusing Mexican military and federal law enforcement on establishing and expanding secure areas around key population centers;

(II)

supporting strategically vetted and specialized Mexican law enforcement units to concentrate on high-priority targets and border patrol duties on the United States-Mexico and Mexico-Guatemala borders;

(III)

supporting development of a plan to increase cross-border coordination and cooperation for border law enforcement officers to prevent and address lethal force cases and scenarios;

(IV)

requesting the support of qualified experts to assist in the formulation of a plan to incorporate such strategically vetted and specialized Mexican law enforcement units into such a focused and targeted overall approach; and

(V)

supporting Mexican federal and state law enforcement operations that provide services to the population while gathering and acting upon raw intelligence; and

(7)

include information on trends in Mexican and Central American extradition requests and extraditions carried out.

(c)

Executive agent To lead National Security Council Interagency Group

The President shall appoint the Deputy Secretary of State as the executive agent who shall preside over the National Security Council Interagency Group established under section 6, supported by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in the Executive Office of the President, in consultation with the Secretary of State, utilizing information obtained pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (b) to coordinate and strengthen United States interagency operations through a cohesive and transparent plan to successfully combat Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations within the United States, along the United States-Mexico border, and within Mexico.

(d)

Report on development of Plan

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the Whole-of-Government Plan developed under this section.

(2)

Updates

The President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees updates on an annual basis for the five-year period beginning on the date of the transmission of the report required under paragraph (1) of the information required to be included in the Whole-of-Government Plan developed under this section.

(e)

Report on implementation of Plan

Not later than 90 days after the transmission of the Whole-of-Government Plan contained in the report under subsection (d)(1), the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a plan that—

(1)

details implementation procedures for the plan using baseline indicators, metrics, and measurable goals in a cohesive and transparent manner; and

(2)

identifies specific impediments to interagency coordination and cooperation with respect to the plan, as well as recommendations for addressing identified impediments.

6.

National Security Council Interagency Group

(a)

Establishment

There is established an interagency working group to be known as the National Security Council Interagency Group (in this section referred to as the NSC Interagency Group).

(b)

Membership

The NSC Interagency Group shall be composed of, at a minimum, representatives at the Deputy Secretary level from the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council.

(c)

Meetings

The NSC Interagency Group shall meet at the call of the Deputy Secretary of State.

(d)

Duties

The NSC Interagency Group shall—

(1)

develop the Whole-of-Government Plan under section 5;

(2)

develop the implementation report for the Whole-of-Government Plan under section 5, using baseline indicators, metrics, and measurable goals; and

(3)

enhance coordination and cooperation among Federal departments and agencies for procuring goods and services and the implementation of the Whole-of-Government Plan under section 5.

7.

Funding for development of Whole-of-Government Plan

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State shall use funds made available to the Department of State, as the Secretary determines appropriate, to carry out this Act.