O’Rourke, Pearce reintroduce bipartisan bill to protect Civil Rights of Border Residents

WASHINGTON —  On Friday, Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Rep. Steve Pearce reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would bring accountability and oversight to the federal government’s $18 billion a year border enforcement functions.

“We are reintroducing this bipartisan legislation because the border needs humane and rational policies that reflect the concerns of those who know it best, its residents. This bill would help bring transparency and oversight to protect the constitutional rights of border residents…” said Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

O’Rourke adds, “It will also provide additional training and resources for CBP agents and officers who have among the toughest jobs in our communities. I am grateful to Congressman Pearce for his willingness to approach this important challenge in a bipartisan manner.”

Rep. Steve Pearce said, “I am proud to be able to join Congressman O’Rourke again this Congress to introduce this critically needed bill; For those who live on the border, interaction with the United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is a daily part of life.”

“Living on and around the border, our communities understand the needed mission CBP performs keeping our families and nation safe, yet they expect – like with all government – effectiveness, accountability, and transparency,” Pearce added.

The Border Enforcement Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement Act of 2015 would:

·         Ensure greater transparency and accountability for border residents by creating an independent Border Oversight Commission, an Ombudsman and Border Community Liaison office;

·         Create a uniformed process for tracking and preventing migrant deaths along the border; and

·         Support CBP officers and agents through enhancing training and continued education courses.

Rep Pearce also said, “It is Congress’s responsibility to ensure both the communities along the border region, and the agents assigned to protect it, have the tools they need to be safe and secure where they live and work. From providing CBP agents with the training they want and deserve, to providing communities with greater accessibility to CBP oversight, this bill aims to only improve our communities. Together, we can shed party lines to find the clear solutions our nation and neighborhoods need, I again thank Congressman O’Rourke for his willingness to cross the aisle and work on an issue that has such a deep impact on both of our districts.”

You can read the entire text of the bill, and its section by section here: https://goo.gl/8Nfxlf.

Author: Rep O’Rourke’s Office