House Republican leaders are hoping to pass legislation next week that would require the federal government to conduct a comprehensive analysis of threats coming across the southwestern U.S. border.
The Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment act, from freshman Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is a response to growing fears that Islamic State terrorists are looking to enter the U.S. from Mexico, and plot terrorist acts in any U.S. city they can reach. McSally said her bill would help Congress get a better handle on how real these threats are, and provide a needed update for border agents.
"The threats along our border have shifted significantly in the last few years, let alone over the last two decades," McSally said when she offered the bill in February. "Our Border Patrol can't do their job if they're operating off of outdated information."
Immigration has generally been a dead letter in the House for the last three years, when the Senate passed a reform bill that angered many Republicans. President Obama solidified the GOP position further with his executive actions on immigration in late 2014.