Will Israeli companies benefit from the effort to seal the U.S. border?

Will Israeli companies benefit from the effort to seal the U.S. border?

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13528763_sAfter years of effort to reform immigration rules and come up with a workable solution for the millions of undocumented residents in the United States, the Senate passed a massive $46 billion immigration reform and border security bill by a 68-32 vote on Thursday. Reported Defense News.

i-HLS Israel Homeland Security

The bill faces plenty of obstacles in the House however, where many Republicans oppose efforts to put the 11 million people living illegally in the US on a path to citizenship.

The Mexican government has also taken a hard line on the bill, which in part demands that the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) be able to maintain “operational control” of the southwest border with Mexico by building about 700 miles of fencing on the international line and flooding the region with more border agents, National Guard troops, drones, expensive ground sensors, and excess equipment donated by the Pentagon.

“We are convinced that fences don’t unite,” Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said in a June 25 statement, adding that “Mexico is convinced that our public policies should be coordinated and should recognize the importance of the border for competitiveness, job creation and the social well being of both countries.”

Likewise, the fight on Capitol Hill is already well under way with Democratic and Republican senators trading barbs about the costs of the plan.

At issue is an amendment to the upper chamber’s immigration bill approved this week and pushed by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota. If enacted, the duo’s plan would require US officials to spend about $38 billion on technologies and security personnel along America’s southern border.

Specifically, the legislation calls for 20,000 new Border Patrol agents — more than doubling the number of boots currently on the ground — along with a wish list that includes four more drones on top of the 10 that the CBP already flies, 30 marine vessels, 17 more Huey helicopters, 10 converted and five new Black Hawk helicopters, and hundreds of ground sensors, and fixed and mobile surveillance systems.

The amendment also calls for sophisticated surveillance gear that has proven itself on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. It requests eight VADER (Vehicle Dismount and Exploitation Radar) systems for manned and unmanned aircraft.

The National Guard is also asked to provide additional drones and helicopters for use along the border, and to man road checkpoints in southwestern states.