Legislation was introduced by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona) and Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida)
WASHINGTON (KYMA, KECY) - The U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee approved Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s bipartisan bill that will strengthen border security and combat illegal human and drug smuggling across the Southwest border.
Sinema's bipartisan bill called the Continuing High-quality Evaluations of Concerning and Known Persons of Interest through National Training Updates (CHECKPOINT) Act.
The press release stated the CHECKPOINT Act enhances checkpoint technologies and improves drug seizure training to secure the border.
“Our bipartisan bill delivers real solutions to crack down on dangerous human and drug smuggling at Arizona’s border, and is now one step closer to becoming law – and one step closer to bringing Arizona families peace of mind."Senator Sinema, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee
“It’s heart-wrenching and terrifying that fentanyl continues to flow across our southern border and into U.S. communities where it takes more lives every single day. We cannot allow this drug to continue endangering American families.
This commonsense legislation will make several updates to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection training and procedures of the Checkpoint Program Management Office to ensure we are doing everything possible to seize these drugs from dangerous criminals before they harm our communities.
I’m glad to have bipartisan support for the Continuing High-quality Evaluations of Concerning and Known Persons of Interest through National Training Updates (CHECKPOINT) Act, and I’m thankful it passed out of committee this week.
I won’t stop fighting for this bill’s full passage so that we may take another step toward ending the deadly fentanyl smuggling happening at our border."Senator Rick Scott
According to the press release, the bipartisan bill requires Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to regularly assess and update guidance related to combating drug and human smuggling.
This will keep instructions current and accurate to help CBP crackdown on dangerous and illegal activity.
It will also enhance technology at Border Patrol checkpoints and improve drug seizure training for agents, improving their ability to prevent deadly drugs like fentanyl from going into local communities.
The press release also included that the bill will enhance intelligence gathering at the Southwest border, ensuring consistent data collection to improve the Border Patrol’s efforts to interdict human and drug smuggling.
Now, Border Patrol agents are required to collect data on checkpoint activity related to prohibiting human and drug smuggling.
Due to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from June 2022, it was found that agents did not consistently document certain types of data collected at checkpoints.
Which made it difficult for Border Patrol to assess checkpoint effectiveness or ensure proper resourcing.
The CHECKPOINT Act will help implement recommendations from the report to help secure the border.
According to the press release, Senator Sinema is leading negotiations between both parties on a bipartisan border security proposal to deliver lasting solutions addressing the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis at the border.