WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) unveiled Thursday the Security First Act, his first bill as a Member of Congress. The Security First Act focuses on providing more resources to law enforcement through Operation Stonegarden.
Operation Stonegarden is a grant program that allows local law enforcement to augment border patrol efforts at the southern border. Congressman Gonzales’ district encompasses over 820 miles of US-Mexico border, the most of any Congressional District.
“The challenges at our border are compounding by the minute and it’s imperative that our men and women protecting our border have the most up-to-date, sophisticated resources to do their jobs,” said Congressman Gonzales. “The Security First Act is aimed at making sure our borders are safe, resilient and adaptive to twenty-first century challenges.”
The bill works to bring our border patrol and law enforcement agencies into the twenty-first century by:
Doubling annual authorization of FEMA’s Operation Stonegarden from $ 90 million to $ 180 million for each of FY 22-25, $ 60 million of which must be used to procure technology and equipment such as sensors, communications equipment and drone technology;
Depositing funds from seized illicit currency at the southern border into the Operation Stonegarden grant program account.
Requiring a report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary focused on what improvements can be made in hiring and retaining Border Protection and Customs Officers;
Designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations to give law enforcement the ability to cut off their access to financial services; and
Requiring a report by DHS on analysis technology needed at the border.
To read the full bill text, click here .