Below is a press release from Congressman Michael Guest:
This week, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) reintroduced H.R. 3130 the Operation Stonegarden Authorization Act, a bill to grant statutory authorization for the Operation Stonegarden grant program. This is the second of three pieces of legislation Congressman Guest plans to introduce to support the law enforcement community and the work of law enforcement agencies across the United States during National Police Week.
The Operation Stonegarden Act would provide grant funding to support law enforcement agencies located in states bordering Mexico, Canada, or a maritime border that are working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As the crisis on the border continues to worsen, this legislation would support efforts of local agencies to supplement the work of CBP.
“Illegal border crossings remain near 20-year highs and more than 21,000 unaccompanied children are in federal custody. Increased drug and human trafficking efforts have stretched CBP efforts thin as agents spend much of their time processing the thousands of illegal immigrants entering the United States. Managing this crisis requires resources and manpower. This legislation would help fill in the gaps in border security that President Biden’s executive orders have caused and continue to exacerbate,” Guest said.
There has been a 233% increase in fentanyl seizures compared to the same time last year, migrants are entering the United States without COVID-19 testing, and as many as 1,500 illegal immigrants evade police encounters per day based on numbers reported last month. Overwhelming evidence points to a humanitarian, health, immigration, and national security crisis on the border and, during Congressman Guest’s visit to the border last month, agents provided personal accounts in discussions with lawmakers of how the Administration’s policies have restricted their ability to perform their duties as law enforcement agents.
This legislation would help alleviate the stress placed on CBP by providing local law enforcement agencies with additional funding to equip and train themselves to successfully supplement efforts to secure American borders.
The legislation currently has support from 9 cosponsors: Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36); Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-02); Rep. Andrew R. Garbarino (NY-02); Rep. Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-26); Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11); Rep. Peter Meijer (MI-03); Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02); Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR-AL); and Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03).