H. R. 761
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 2, 2023
Mrs. Bice (for herself, Mr. Crenshaw, Mr. Tony Gonzales of Texas, Mr. Fallon, and Mr. Jackson of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committee on Appropriations, 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
To direct the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish a grant program to reimburse individuals for loss or damage to property near the southern border of the United States caused by an individual illegally crossing the border, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Securing American Families from Exploitation at the Border Act or the
SAFE Border Act .
In this Act:
impacted party means an individual who—
owns real property within, the border zone; and
has experienced property theft or property damage on the property, as applicable, by an individual illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
at-risk party means an individual who—
owns property within the border zone that does not have a bollard-style border barrier that is adjacent to such property; and
reasonably believes to be at risk of experiencing property theft or property damage on the property, as applicable, by an individual illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
border zone means the area of the United States that is within 10 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Southern Border Landowner Security Grant Program
The Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall establish a grant program to be known as the Southern Border Landowner Security Grant Program to provide grants to impacted parties to cover losses or damage to property and to at-risk parties to improve the security of certain property.
Grants to impacted parties
The Administrator may provide grants under this Act to an impacted party to cover loss or damages not otherwise covered by insurance to the impacted property if such party certifies, to the satisfaction of the Administrator, that the property—
was located in the border zone at the time such loss or damage occurred; and
the loss or damage was caused by an individual illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
To be eligible for a grant under this section, an impacted party shall submit to the Administrator an application that includes documentation of the loss or damage and an estimate of the value of such loss or an estimate of the cost to repair such damage.
Grants to at-risk parties
The Administrator may provide grants under this Act to an at-risk party to improve the physical security of property located within the border zone if such party certifies, to the satisfaction of the Administrator, that the party reasonably believes that the property of such party is at risk of loss or damage caused by an individual illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Report on use of funds
Not later than 290 days after an at-risk party receives funds under this section, such party shall submit to the Administrator documentation on how the party spends such funds. Any funds that remain unspent on the day on which such documentation is submitted shall be returned to the Administrator for further provision under this section.
Transfer of funds
Of the funds appropriated under the heading
Procurement, Construction, and Improvement for use by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol that are unobligated and unexpended as of the date of enactment of this Act, $75,000,000 shall be transferred to the Administrator to provide grants under this Act.
Fiscal year limitation
Of the funds transferred under subsection (a), the Administrator may expend $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2024.
Limitation on grant amount
An individual may not receive more than a total of $25,000 under this section for fiscal years 2022 through 2024.
The Administrator may issues such regulations as are necessary to carry out this Act, including—
requirements that applicants for funds under this Act submit evidentiary documentation, including property deeds, police reports, insurance coverage documentation, and other documentation considered appropriate by the Administrator;
a review process conducted by the Administrator or the inspector general of the Agency to review applications annually for waste, fraud, and abuse; and
the applicable penalties for fraudulent claims or false statements.
The authority to provide grants under this Act shall cease on the last date of fiscal year 2026. Any funds that have not been obligated under this section before that date shall be transferred to the heading
Procurement, Construction, and Improvement for use by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.