Congressman Peters Announces ‘Safe & Secure Border Infrastructure’ Bill
Scott anouncing his legislation at the SD Regional Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) announced the introduction of HR 3182, legislation to improve the support infrastructure at our country’s international border crossings including San Ysidro & Otay Mesa. Inefficiency at the land ports of entry cost the cross-border economies $7.2 billion in lost gross output annually, and more than 62,000 jobs, according to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The announcement came at the beginning of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual trip to Washington.
“Improving the infrastructure near our borders is key to both our economic growth and national security,” Congressman Peters said. “It is an economic imperative, for San Diego and the country, that we make these improvements. Inaction costs us billions of dollars in potential output each year – lost opportunities that we cannot afford.”
The legislation, formally introduced late last week, would provide grants to the nation’s busiest border crossings for construction projects to facilitate international trade, alleviate border congestion, and end multi-hour delays. Improving the infrastructure surrounding border crossings allows for a more efficient, safe, and secure screening process.
“An efficient border is a secure border,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Funding for infrastructure and staffing improvements at the U.S.-Mexico border will ensure that we can move people and products across the border in a safe and effective manner. An enhanced border not only represents a tremendous economic opportunity, but will improve cross-border commerce, binational partnerships and tourism for the entire San Diego/Baja mega region and beyond.”
“The region’s economy will be far more robust when improvements are made at the border,” said San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria. “San Diego has developed strong relationships with our counterparts in Tijuana, and infrastructure investment is necessary to further improve efficiency.”
“I commend Congressman Peters’ efforts to introduce the Safe and Secure Border Infrastructure Act,” said Jack Dale, SANDAG Board of Directors Chair and City of Santee Councilmember. “This legislation acknowledges the need to invest in our ports of entry and border transportation facilities to provide secure, fast travel and support cross-border trade important to our regional and state economies.”
This bill builds upon language introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein that was included in S. 744, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, which passed the Senate in June but has not yet been addressed in the House of Representatives. Further, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, lists ‘improved border infrastructure and border crossing processes’ as central to improving commerce in the San Diego regional economy.