ICYMI: Spanberger Votes to Strengthen Border Security, Combat Fentanyl Trafficking in Appropriations Package

Congresswoman: “The American People are Right to Expect a Secure Border”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed into law a fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations bill, which U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass last week. The package includes increased funding to strengthen our border security and combat transnational crime.

The bill provides $14.8 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is $25.7 million above President Biden’s requested amount. This increase will allow CBP to hire additional Border Patrol Agents, purchase technology to screen incoming cargo vehicles, and improve processing. The package also provides $8.26 billion for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is $284.7 million above the FY2021 enacted level and $266.7 million more than President Biden requested. The funding included in this package will allow ICE to better investigate transnational crime, including illicit fentanyl trafficking at our southern border.

“The American people are right to expect a secure border,” said Spanberger, a former federal law enforcement officer. “We must continue to invest in the law enforcement agencies that safeguard our country and the CBP personnel who work at all hours to keep our borders safe and secure. I am glad that this increased funding to hire additional agents, invest in technology to stop contraband from entering our country, and help these agencies succeed in their missions was included in this package — and I was proud to help move it to the President’s desk and be signed into law.”

The FY2022 appropriations package includes funding to increase CBP hiring, invest in border security technology, and allow our law enforcement agencies to operate more efficiently, including:

  • $2.27 billion for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to investigate transnational crime and threats — including illicit fentanyl trafficking.
  • $275 million for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reduce immigration, refugee, and asylum application backlogs.
  • $201.89 million for increased border security technology.
  • $100 million to hire additional Border Patrol Agents.
  • $55 million for non-intrusive inspection (NII) systems to screen commercial traffic for passengers, illicit drugs, hazardous materials while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade, cargo, and passengers.
  • $20 million for CBP to improve migrant processing.

BACKGROUND

As a former federal law enforcement officer, Spanberger has long been focused on stopping the flow of illicit substances, like fentanyl, across our borders. In February, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Congresswoman’s legislation to help curtail the flow of illicit fentanyl into the United States. Specifically, her legislation requires the U.S. Secretary of State, the U.S. Attorney General, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary to recognize this pressing challenge and issue a report to Congress that describes American efforts to gain a commitment from China and Latin American governments to combat the production and flow of illicit fentanyl. With this additional information, more steps can be taken by the United States to combat illicit fentanyl production and trafficking that originates in both China and Latin America.

In 2019, Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation to combat Central American trafficking and smuggling networks passed in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) — which President Donald Trump signed into law. Specifically, the Trafficking and Smuggling Intelligence Act directs the U.S. intelligence community to prioritize efforts to combat drug trafficking, human trafficking, and human smuggling networks in the Northern Triangle countries — Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — and Mexico. Additionally, it uses the expertise of the intelligence community to understand how these criminal organizations in the region contribute to the ongoing humanitarian suffering at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Click here to read the full bill text. 

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