Bill targets total border inspections

| 10/26/2001

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has a proposal on the books that would require inspection of all cargo on commercial trucks and vessels entering the United States.

The bill prohibits cargo transported by commercial motor vehicle from "entering the United States from Canada or Mexico unless the Customs Service or other appropriate U.S. officer or employee has inspected such cargo to ensure that it complies with U.S. laws."

Michael Harrison, a spokesman from Hunter's office, said the congressman requested a search from Congressional Research Service before implementing the proposal. "Mr. Hunter has been working on this issue for a while," explained Harrison. "Sept. 11 only compounded the issue."

Harrison told Land Line the bill is necessary because currently only 1 percent of cargo entering the United States is being inspected. "This legislation will help stop drug trafficking, shipments of chemicals that could be used to make drugs, and bioterrorism," he said. "He's looking at a lot of options like GPS to track shipments and drivers too."

Hunter has been aggressive in the past on ways to halt illegal aliens at the border. He opposed free-trade measures, opening the Mexican border, and has proposed hiring more than 10,000 border guards.

HR2960 was introduced on Sept. 25 and has not been read due to Congress looking at "other important legislation linked to the Sept. 11 attack" said Harrison. The bill is sitting in the House Committee on Ways and Means.