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Local News

Underwood bills address terrorism, crisis at southern border

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville
U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two of Rep. Lauren Underwood’s bills concerning terrorism and the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

The Counter Terrorist Network Act, H.R. 3526, authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel to collaborate with appropriate federal, state, local, tribal and international entities to identify and dismantle networks that pose terrorist or criminal threats.

“As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I believe it is imperative that our nation promotes intelligence sharing in an effort to enhance U.S. border security and counter terrorism operations," Underwood said in a news release.

Underwood said she was bolstering national security with her support of increasing resources for CBP by $942 million, which was a higher increase than the Trump Administration requested.

The other bill, the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening and Standards Act, addresses existing gaps in the Department of Homeland Security policy to ensure migrants receive basic medical screenings.

The legislation directs DHS to research approaches to address gaps in the delivery of comprehensive medical screenings, with a focus on vulnerable populations.

“Anyone who has been to the border, including many of my House colleagues, has seen how overwhelming the humanitarian situation there is,” Underwood said. “Congress has consistently been willing to provide DHS with the resources it needs – but with those resources come accountability and oversight.”

Underwood said she thought her bill was an “important and sensible step forward” to ensure migrants and border officials aren’t put in unsafe situations.

Another one of Underwood’s bills, which passed in July, established requirements for medical screenings for all individuals apprehended by border patrol agents.

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