Cong. Flores Introduces 1st Bill: Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen Law Enforcement Operations at Southern Border

Bipartisan effort comes amid record-breaking illegal immigration, drug trafficking

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Mayra Flores (TX-34), along with Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03), and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), introduced the "Advanced Border Coordination Act" to strengthen border security by improving law enforcement communication and coordination at the southern border.

Building off the successes of state-run fusion centers, the bill would establish Joint Operation Centers along the southern border to serve as centralized operating hubs tasked with coordinating border operations, information sharing, and workforce training.
“I came to Congress promising to solve problems confronting our district and this is exactly what my first bill delivers. I’m proud this bill is being introduced and lauded by Members on both sides of the aisle, as a more secure border means safer and more prosperous communities across this land,” said Congresswoman Flores (right.)

“It is evident, from what we are witnessing at our southern border, that the only group benefiting from this self-inflicted chaos are criminals, drug and human traffickers, and the cartels.

"Our bill will put an end to this by bettering our law enforcement coordination and their ability to counter these dangerous groups. I thank my colleagues for joining me in this bipartisan and bicameral effort,” Cong. Flores said.

The introduction of this bipartisan bill comes amid record-breaking illegal immigration and drug trafficking at the southern border.
In June alone there were 207,416 reported illegal border crossings.

That same month, authorities also apprehended an additional six individuals on the terrorist watch list attempting to illegally cross our southern border, bringing the total to 56 for fiscal year 2022.

That’s not to mention the 53 migrants who were found dead in San Antonio, TX on June 6, packed in the back of a suffocating tractor-trailer without air conditioning, in what was the deadliest smuggling incident in the country to date.

Meanwhile, 8,400 pounds of fentanyl has been seized by Border Patrol thus far in fiscal year 2022, double the total amount seized for all of fiscal year 2020. This record-breaking drug trafficking comes on the heels of America’s all-time record high for drug overdoses in 2021.

The Advanced Border Coordination Act would help address these national security threats and humanitarian concerns by:
  • Directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish at least two joint operations centers along the southern border.
    • These hubs would help law enforcement from multiple Federal, State, local and Tribal agencies coordinate their efforts and better work together.
  • Requires these centralized hubs to serve as resources to improve field operations and intelligence sharing, help detect and deter criminal activity like drug and human trafficking, and support workforce development and training coordination between participating agencies.
  • Direct the DHS Secretary to issue an annual report to Congress on the centers’ operational activities and recommendations for coordinated federal actions at the southern border.
Participating agencies would include the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Justice Department, other federal agencies as the DHS Secretary determines appropriate, and state, local, and tribal agencies that voluntarily choose to participate.

Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) earlier this year.