April 02, 2024


The Emerging Innovative Border Technologies Act Would Detail Areas Where High-Tech Solutions Can Enhance Border Security

Fact Sheet (PDF) | Text of Legislation (PDF)

WASHINGTON — Today, Representatives Lou Correa (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Border Security and Enforcement Subcommittee, and Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) introduced the Emerging Innovative Border Technologies Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would enhance border security operations by requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to present a plan to Congress for integrating innovative technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and nanotechnology, at the border.

This legislation comes after DHS’ announcement of its “Artificial Intelligence Roadmap” last month. The roadmap details DHS’s 2024 plans, including to test uses of the technologies that deliver meaningful benefits to the American public and advance homeland security, while ensuring that individuals’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected.

“Border security means keeping drug and human traffickers away from our communities—and new, bleeding-edge technology that is already available for commercial use would give our hard-working officers the tools they need to keep us safe,” Correa said. “Through this bipartisan effort, Congress will better-understand how our officers can use new technology to stop smugglers, as well as identify and respond when migrants are crossing in remote and deadly conditions, and hopefully deliver them the resources they so desperately need.”

Investment in technology that enhances border security can help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) identify and respond more quickly to life-threatening situations. The implementation of remote sensing technologies—like infrared cameras and ground-based sensors—can help law enforcement detect and respond to migrants crossing in remote and deadly conditions, as well as cases of human trafficking and smuggling. Plus, advanced AI-powered image recognition systems can help detect and classify illicit substances at ports of entry.

“As cartels and foreign adversary operations become more sophisticated amidst the ongoing border crisis, the United States must deploy the latest and most advanced technologies available to our borders to disrupt these threats,” Luttrell said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my colleague, Representative Correa, that aims to combat and neutralize threats at our borders. I’ll continue to push for effective measures to safeguard our country and enforce our laws.”

Specifically, the Emerging Innovative Border Technologies Act would: 

  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security, within 180 days, to submit a comprehensive plan to Congress to identify, integrate, and deploy new, innovative, disruptive, or other emerging technologies into border security operations. 
  • Authorize one or more CBP Innovation Teams to research and adapt commercial technologies that are new, innovative, or disruptive into border security operations to address both capability gaps and urgent mission needs and assess their potential outcomes.
  • Require each CBP Innovation Team to have both operating procedures that clarify roles and responsibilities within such team with respect to DHS and non-Federal partners as well as protocols for entering agreements to rapidly transition technologies into new or existing programs of record.

You can find a fact sheet on this legislation HERE. You can read the full text of the legislation HERE