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Rep. Ciscomani's border security bill fails to pass U.S. House, marking the latest deadlock in D.C.

A bill that imposes criminal penalties on people accused of assisting cross-border crime has narrowly failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. 

It's the latest border bill to stall in Congress. Measures have been introduced, then stalled, for months as lawmakers argue over where to focus funding and resources at the border.

Man in suit in front of American flag
U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani on Feb. 8, 2024.

This latest bill — sponsored by Congressman Juan Ciscomani of southern Arizona — would have targeted those thought to be assisting cross-border smuggling or other crimes. By doing things like relaying information about the location of law enforcement or destroying a part of the border wall. It also would have imposed harsher charges against people who use a firearm while involved in those crimes. 

The measure failed mostly along party lines over the weekend. Those opposed said it did not address the full breadth of needs along the border — like funding for asylum officers and immigration judges.

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.