Video Provision

After recommending strategies for on-the-border video cameras and other security technologies, Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) and her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed H.R. 1299, known as the Secure Border Act. The bill ensures that the use of electronic physical security equipment will be a priority for the Department of Homeland Security’s border security strategies.

H.R. 1299 promotes the use of a comprehensive technology plan for major surveillance and detection technology programs. The Security Industry Association (SIA) announced full support of the passage of this bill—partly because staffers helped draft and create this critical legislation.

According to SIA, the Secure Border Act will direct the DHS secretary to submit to Congress a detailed and comprehensive strategic plan for gaining operational control of the international borders between U.S. ports of entry. The legislation also calls for development of a five-year plan that will ensure complete operations control is being met in border areas.

Miller, who introduced the Secure Border Act, said that for too many years this nation has lacked a clear and comprehensive plan to gain and maintain operations control of the borders.

“My legislation directs the secretary of Department of Homeland Security to develop a strategy for securing our borders and ports of entry by taking into account personnel, technology and other resources to meet our nation’s security requirements,” Miller said. “Our common defense begins with effectively securing our borders, and the American people rightly expect and demand that the federal government take the responsibility to secure the borders.”

Not too many months ago, I created a little havoc by writing that the current administration isn’t doing enough to protect the borders. A couple of our readers took exception and felt I shouldn’t wander into the political arena. I’ve thought long and hard about this, but what is the border about if it isn’t about security?

Therefore, let me heap a little praise on the White House for signing a bill that raises the federal criminal penalties for building or financing the building of border tunnels from Mexico into the United States.

Authored by Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), the new law received broad bipartisan support in May and was signed by the president on June 5.

“This legislation will further deter tunnel activities by providing enhanced investigative tools to law enforcement and increasing options to prosecute people involved in these crimes,” Reyes said.

During the past three years, the current administration has boldly increased the number of border agents, and DHS for the first time ever has taken flight with unmanned aerial drones that cover the border from Texas to California.

Cross-border tunnels, however, have become more common along the southern border, especially in Arizona and California, as drug smugglers look for new ways to circumvent law enforcement in the many aboveground routes. The tunnels are often very sophisticated and have extensive ventilation and cooling systems, as well as cargo-moving facilities. The tunnel smugglers have to be stopped, and, hopefully, this will help thwart the drug industry, which is brazen in its every attempt to bring its illegal product into the United States.

“I’m proud to see the president sign this important legislation into law,” said Rep. Ben Quayle (RAZ). “For too long, criminal cartels have been able to construct and use illegal cross-border tunnels to smuggle weapons, drugs and people across our border without facing adequately harsh consequences. This bill is an important step in our efforts to secure our southern borders.”

It seems apprehensions along the border have risen because there have been far fewer attempts to cross illegally, in part due to the dramatic increase in seizures of illegal currency, drugs and guns. This doesn’t mean that all is well on the southern border.

The Government Accountability Office has indicated that only 44 percent of the Southwest border has been under operational control and that only 32 of the nearly 4,000 northern border miles have reached an acceptable level of security. Investments in border security should not be ad hoc but rather part of a larger strategic plan.

“I am encouraged by the release of the first-ever DHS Northern Border Strategy,” Miller said. “As chairman of the subcommittee on border and maritime security, I have been calling on the department to focus on the unique challenges on the northern border by putting a stronger emphasis on sharing information to protect our citizens, facilitate trade across our borders, decrease wait times for cargo and people who cross the border and to make infrastructure investments needed to facilitate these goals.”

One of the most important responsibilities of our government and this Congress is the enumerated powers of the Constitution for providing for the common defense of the citizens. Proper security on the border is a common defense that must be funded to meet that mission.

This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of Security Today.


  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • ComNet CNGE6FX2TX4PoE

    The ComNet cost-efficient CNGE6FX2TX4PoE is a six-port switch that offers four Gbps TX ports that support the IEEE802.3at standard and provide up to 30 watts of PoE to PDs. It also has a dedicated FX/TX combination port as well as a single FX SFP to act as an additional port or an uplink port, giving the user additional options in managing network traffic. The CNGE6FX2TX4PoE is designed for use in unconditioned environments and typically used in perimeter surveillance. 3

  • Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems V07

    Automatic Systems, an industry-leading manufacturer of pedestrian and vehicle secure entrance control access systems, is pleased to announce the release of its groundbreaking V07 software. The V07 software update is designed specifically to address cybersecurity concerns and will ensure the integrity and confidentiality of Automatic Systems applications. With the new V07 software, updates will be delivered by means of an encrypted file. 3

  • ResponderLink


    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3