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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

US House panel endorses amendments to study Coast Guard’s San Juan Sector needs

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón

By The Star Staff

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved two proposals on Thursday that were introduced by Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón, who is a member of the committee, to study the needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for maritime surveillance capabilities, and to confront illicit activity and improve the reporting of drug and migrant interdiction statistics.

The commissioner introduced the proposals as amendments to the replacement bill for the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2023, which had its final consideration hearing, or markup, on Thursday. The measure authorizes funding for the U.S. Coast Guard for the next two fiscal years (2024 and 2025).

“The operations executed by the Coast Guard are of vital importance to us in Puerto Rico, given the increase in illegal drugs and migratory activity in the Caribbean,” González Colón said. “That’s why I want to thank the committee for including my two amendments that address these critical security issues. The Coast Guard plays a leading role in combating the threats we face from transnational criminal organizations and smugglers operating in the Caribbean. Therefore, it is essential that we ensure that they have the necessary resources to effectively address the increase in illicit maritime activity in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.”

The Coast Guard Sector Maritime Domain Awareness for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands amendment would require the Coast Guard to submit a report to the U.S. Congress based on a comprehensive study of the area of responsibility of the Coast Guard sector covering Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, known as San Juan Sector.

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