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Senate Eyes $260M Budget for Autonomous Tech at Mexican Border

Border security upgrades

Senate Eyes $260M Budget for Autonomous Tech at Mexican Border

The Senate has allocated more than $260 million for the deployment of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence at the Mexican border in its proposed $118 billion immigration and foreign aid funding bill. 

The spending package primarily aims to strengthen border security policy by limiting the asylum process and expediting deportations, Nextgov/FCW reported Monday.

It would provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with $758.5 million, $424.5 million of which would support an open competition to acquire “innovative” non-intrusive inspection technology with AI and machine learning integration.

Of the $260 million allocated for border security capabilities, $170 million would fund the deployment of new autonomous surveillance towers. The funding bill describes the capability as “integrated software and/or hardware systems” using sensors, onboard computing and AI to pinpoint items of interest for personnel to identify.

Spending would also go toward mobile surveillance technology, including video-based systems, unmanned aerial systems and counter-UASes to replace obsolete systems.

All acquired border security technology must be autonomous, the funding bill indicated.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: artificial intelligence autonomous surveillance tower border security Customs and Border Protection federal civilian Nextgov/FCW Senate unmanned aerial system