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The bill is similar to one McCain and Kyl proposed in May 2010. If passed, the bill would require the federal government to:
• Deploy no fewer than 6,000 National Guard to the U.S./ Mexico border at a total cost of $6 million.
• Deploy 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents to the border and add hardship pay for agents stationed in rural, high trafficked areas. Provide funding for 500 more customs inspectors for the border. Total cost: $1.5 billion over five years.
• Increase funding for Operation Streamline, which requires that every person caught crossing the border illegally be charged with a federal crime. The cases are then fast tracked through the federal court system. First time offenders are usually convicted of a misdemeanor and spend 6 months in prison before being deported. Repeat offenders are punished by up to 20 years in prison before being deported. Total cost: $250 million over five years.
• Increase funding for the Southwest Border Prosecutors Initiative, a program that reimburses state and local governments in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas for the cost of prosecuting federally initiated drug cases involving the border. Total cost: $250 million for five years.