Waltz, Scott and Sinema Reintroduce Legislation to Crack Down on Drug and Human Trafficking
Washington, January 25, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) reintroduced the bipartisan Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act to extend the customs waters territory of the United States from 12 to 24 nautical miles from the baselines of the United States. Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), and James Lankford (R-TX) reintroduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
The Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) the jurisdiction necessary to keep American families safe from drug and human traffickers. Currently the USCG has this authority under a Presidential Proclamation, this would codify it into law. With modern technology constantly changing, the 12 nautical mile baseline is no longer sufficient for USCG and CBP AMO to successfully interdict vessels attempting to enter the United States.
Under President Biden’s failed agenda of amnesty and open borders, more than 5 million known migrants have illegally crossed the southern border and tons of deadly drugs, like fentanyl, have flooded into U.S. communities and taken more than 100,000 American lives in the last year alone. Regrettably, we now see the disastrous policies of our Southwest border spill over to Florida’s shores.
“Biden’s failed border policies also extend out to the sea. Over the past few months, we’ve seen an influx of drug and human traffickers washing up on Florida’s shores,” said Waltz. “We must give our federal law enforcement officials the authorities to more effectively intercept and catch these criminals and keep our communities safe.”
“What I saw last week in the Florida Keys is unacceptable, our country is experiencing record-high levels of illegal immigration and this needs to stop,” said Scott. “The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations keep families in Florida and around our nation safe by patrolling the beaches, shore waters and maritime territory, conducting search and rescue operations and intercepting vessels transporting illegal drugs and the victims of human trafficking. Our bill, the Extending U.S. Customs Waters Act, will extend the United States’ customs waters territory to help ensure our Coast Guard and CBP/AMO has the jurisdiction and authority needed to cut down on drug and human trafficking so that families everywhere remain safe. I am thankful for the bipartisan support and I urge all my colleagues to support this important bill.”