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Latino Daily News

Monday January 31, 2011

Janet Napolitano on Border Security: Our Approach is Working

Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, spoke at the University of Texas at El Paso speaking on the state of affairs on border security and the verdict is “Our Approach is Working.”

With the aid of $600 million supplement, the U.S. government continues to add technology, manpower, and infrastructure to the border. That includes:

• Adding 1,000 new Border Patrol Agents;
• Adding 250 new CBP officers at our ports of entry;
• Adding 250 new ICE agents focused on transnational crime;
• Improving our tactical communications systems;
• Adding two new forward operating bases to improve coordination of border security activities; and
• Adding additional CBP unmanned aircraft systems. In fact, we’ve now instituted Predator Unmanned Aircraft System coverage along the entire Southwest border – from the El Centro Sector in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas.

President Obama authorized the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops who are now actively assisting us in our work along the border.

The $150 million in Operation Stonegarden funds help local law enforcement jurisdictions along the border pay for things like overtime. $123 million went to Southwest border states – more than ever before.

Border Patrol apprehensions – a key indicator of illegal immigration—have decreased 36 percent in the past two years, and are less than half of what they were at their peak.
While violent crime in border communities has remained flat or fallen in the past decade. And studies and statistics have shown that some of the safest communities in America are right here at the border.

Over the past two fiscal years, the U.S. government has seized 35 percent more illegal currency [$282 million total], 16 percent more illegal drugs [7 million pounds total], and 28 percent more weapons [6,800 total] compared to the previous two years.

In conclusion Sec. Napolitano said:  “I say to the cartels: Don’t even think about bringing your violence and tactics across this border. You will be met by an overwhelming response. And we’re going to continue to work with our partners in Mexico to dismantle and defeat you.”