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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-751

======================================================================

 
   A BILL TO REQUIRE THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO CONDUCT A 
     PROGRAM IN THE MARITIME ENVIRONMENT FOR THE MOBILE BIOMETRIC 
   IDENTIFICATION OF SUSPECTED INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDING TERRORISTS, TO 
                        ENHANCE BORDER SECURITY

                                _______
                                

 July 10, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2490]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2490) to require the Secretary of Homeland 
Security to conduct a pilot program for the mobile biometric 
identification in the maritime environment of aliens unlawfully 
attempting to enter the United States, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5

    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. MARITIME BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION.

  (a) In General.--Within one year after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the 
Commandant of the Coast Guard, shall conduct, in the maritime 
environment, a program for the mobile biometric identification of 
suspected individuals, including terrorists, to enhance border security 
and for other purposes.
  (b) Requirements.--The Secretary shall ensure the program required in 
this section is coordinated with other biometric identification 
programs within the Department of Homeland Security.
  (c) Cost Analysis.--Within 90 days after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on 
Appropriations and Homeland Security of the House of Representatives 
and the Committees on Appropriations and Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs of the Senate an analysis of the cost of expanding 
the Coast Guard's biometric identification capabilities for use by the 
Coast Guard's Deployable Operations Group, cutters, stations, and other 
deployable maritime teams considered appropriate by the Secretary, and 
any other appropriate Department of Homeland Security maritime vessels 
and units. The analysis may include a tiered plan for the deployment of 
this program that gives priority to vessels and units more likely to 
encounter individuals suspected of making illegal border crossings 
through the maritime environment.
  (d) Definition.--For the purposes of this section, the term 
``biometric identification'' means use of fingerprint and digital 
photography images.

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
conduct a program in the maritime environment for the mobile 
biometric identification of suspected individuals, including 
terrorists, to enhance border security.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 2490 is to require the Secretary of 
Homeland Security to conduct a pilot program for the mobile 
biometric identification in the maritime environment of aliens 
unlawfully attempting to enter the United States.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    This bill authorizes a program that has been successful 
since its launch in November 2006. The ``Biometric 
Identification At Sea Pilot Project'' has allowed the Coast 
Guard to collect biometrics from aliens interdicted in the 
Caribbean to run against terrorist and criminal databases. It 
has proven itself to be an effective partnership between the 
Coast Guard and Federal law enforcement. Under this program, 
the Coast Guard has collected biometric information from over 
1,100 migrants, using state-of-the-art handheld scanners. As a 
result, 257 migrants with criminal records were identified and 
72 were brought ashore for prosecution under U.S. laws. This 
program breaks the cycle--migrants with criminal histories are 
no longer being repatriated without prosecution.

                                Hearings

    No Committee hearings were held on H.R. 2490.

                        Committee Consideration

    H.R. 2490 was introduced in the House on May 24, 2007, by 
Mr. Bilirakis and three original co-sponsors and was referred 
solely to the Committee on Homeland Security. Within the 
Committee H.R. 2490 was referred to the Subcommittee on Border, 
Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism.
    On June 26, 2008, the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and 
Global Counterterrorism was discharged from further 
consideration of H.R. 2490.
    The Full Committee considered H.R. 2490 on June 26, 2008, 
and ordered the measure reported to the House, amended, with a 
favorable recommendation.
    The Committee adopted the measure, as amended, by unanimous 
consent.
    The following amendments were offered:
          An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by 
        Mr. Bilirakis (#1); was AGREED TO by unanimous consent.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during Committee 
consideration.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
2490, would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

     The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, July 8, 2008.
Hon. Bennie G. Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2490, a bill to 
require the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a program 
in the maritime environment for the mobile biometric 
identification of suspected individuals, including terrorists, 
to enhance border security.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                   (For Peter R. Orszag, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2490--A bill to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
        conduct a program in the maritime environment for the mobile 
        biometric identification of suspected individuals, including 
        terrorists, to enhance border security

    H.R. 2940 would require the U.S. Coast Guard to carry out a 
program using mobile biometric identification tools to identify 
terrorists and other individuals who pose risks to border 
security. Biometric identification uses fingerprint and digital 
photography images.
    Based on information provided by the Coast Guard, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 2940 would have no effect on 
the federal budget because the agency has already carried out 
pilot projects using biometric identification and is adopting 
the technique for its homeland security activities.
    H.R. 2940 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. The 
estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Secretary 
for Budget Analysis.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

     Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, H.R. 2490, contains the following 
general performance goals, and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The legislation will ensure the continuance of this 
successful program by mandating it in statute. No longer are 
migrants with criminal histories being repatriated without 
prosecution. Now, they are being prosecuted and as result, the 
number of migrants with criminal histories attempting to enter 
the United States via the Mona Pass has decreased. The 
expansion of this program to areas outside of the Mona Pass 
will hopefully show similar results.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

     In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of the rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 1, which grants Congress the power 
to provide for the common Defense of the United States.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

     The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate 
to the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


    Section 1. Biometric Identification of Unauthorized Aliens.
    This section requires the Secretary of Homeland Security 
(Secretary) to conduct, in a maritime environment, a program 
for the mobile biometric identification of suspected 
individuals, including terrorists, to enhance border security 
and for other purposes. The Secretary is responsible for 
coordinating this program with other programs within the 
Department. Within 90 days after the date of enactment, the 
Secretary is also responsible for submitting an analysis of the 
cost of expanding the program. The analysis may included a 
tiered plan for giving priority to vessels and units more 
likely to encounter individuals suspected of making illegal 
border crossing through the maritime environment. For purposes 
of the bill, ``biometric identification'' means use of 
fingerprint and digital photography images.