Representatives Lou Correa (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Border Security and Enforcement Subcommittee, and Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) introduced the Emerging Innovative Border Technologies Act on April 2, a bipartisan piece of legislation that would enhance border security operations by requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to present a plan to Congress for integrating innovative technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and nanotechnology, at the border.

This legislation follows DHS’s announcement of its “Artificial Intelligence Roadmap” last month. The roadmap details DHS’s 2024 plans, including testing uses of technologies that deliver meaningful benefits to the American public and advance homeland security while ensuring that individuals’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected.

“Border security means keeping drug and human traffickers away from our communities—and new, bleeding-edge technology that is already available for commercial use would give our hard-working officers the tools they need to keep us safe,” Correa said. “Through this bipartisan effort, Congress will better understand how our officers can use new technology to stop smugglers, as well as identify and respond when migrants are crossing in remote and deadly conditions, and hopefully deliver them the resources they so desperately need.”

Investment in technology that enhances border security can help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) identify and respond more quickly to life-threatening situations. The implementation of remote sensing technologies—like infrared cameras and ground-based sensors—can help law enforcement detect and respond to migrants crossing in remote and deadly conditions, as well as cases of human trafficking and smuggling. Plus, advanced AI-powered image recognition systems can help detect and classify illicit substances at ports of entry.

“As cartels and foreign adversary operations become more sophisticated amidst the ongoing border crisis, the United States must deploy the latest and most advanced technologies available to our borders to disrupt these threats,” Luttrell said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my colleague, Representative Correa, that aims to combat and neutralize threats at our borders. I’ll continue to push for effective measures to safeguard our country and enforce our laws.”

Specifically, the Emerging Innovative Border Technologies Act would:

  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security, within 180 days, to submit a comprehensive plan to Congress to identify, integrate, and deploy new, innovative, disruptive, or other emerging technologies into border security operations.
  • Authorize one or more CBP Innovation Teams to research and adopt new, innovative, or disruptive commercial technologies into border security operations to address capability gaps and urgent mission needs and assess their potential outcomes.
  • Require each CBP Innovation Team to have operating procedures that clarify roles and responsibilities within such team with respect to DHS and non-Federal partners and protocols for entering agreements to rapidly transition technologies into new or existing programs of record.

You can find a fact sheet on this legislation HERE, and you can read the full text of the legislation HERE.


ABOUT LOU: Congressman Lou Correa is a longtime Orange County resident with deep local roots. To this day, he lives only three miles from his childhood neighborhood in Anaheim. He is the son of working-class parents whose hard work gave him a chance at success, and he has spent his career fighting to protect the American Dream and ensure anyone can reach the middle class, just as he did. In 2016, Lou was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to continue his work by representing the community he has spent the past 20 years serving, fighting to give everyone the same opportunity he had. Congressman Correa is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the middle class and give everyone a shot at the American Dream by investing in education, healthcare, and our fading infrastructure. He has introduced legislation to protect the legal rights of immigrants, care for veterans, and fight against the wasteful spending of taxpayer money.