By Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA)
June 12, 2007 (H6272)
[The DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008] appropriates a record amount of spending, $36.3 billion. What we tried to do in the committee, and I want to commend Mr. Rogers and Mr. Price, was starting out asking what are the risk issues that we really need to face in the Nation. This whole emphasis has been essentially an antiterrorism effort, when, in reality, in creating this huge, huge bureaucracy and moving the Department of Agriculture and everybody else into it, what we have found from a lot of experts is that you really have to deal with issues such as the first responders would be the same for a terrorist activity as they would be for a natural disaster, and that we really have to base our decisions on risk-based management.
It was no more clear than in a place that we are just sort of throwing money at, which is the >border between Mexico and the United States. In testimony, we found that there are more terrorist incidents–in fact, there have been none on the Mexican-U.S. border, but there have been several on the U.S.-Canadian border where we have very little security whatsoever. So if you were acting just on risk management, you would put more assets on the Canadian border than on the Mexican border. But the emphasis here isn’t about homeland security; it is more about immigration.