Napolitano says border towns more safe than most think
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that US communities along the US-Mexico border, are safer than most Americans believe, and warned the cartels, should they decide to move north, they will be met with overwhelming response. At the University of Texas-El Paso, Napolitano said that it’s “inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control.”
“This statement, often made only to score political points, is just plain wrong,” said Napolitano, who was governor of Arizona before being confirmed as Homeland Security secretary in 2009.
She further stated that violent crime hasn’t escalated across the roughly 2,000-mile border with Mexico. But the secretary also recognized that guarding against spillover from Mexican drug violence is an ongoing concern. The Obama Administration has increased U.S. Border Patrol to more than 20,700 agents, more than double its size in 2004, and she noted that $600 million in federal funding last year signed by Obama, will allow authorities to hire 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents and 250 new Customs and Border Protection agents to guard formal Mexico-U.S. border crossings.
There is also an additional 250 ICE agents along the border, and and unmanned aircraft patrols, which was included in the budget.
But this doesn’t satisfy Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has slammed the Administration for not sending enough manpower and money to secure the border state, as it is his opinion that the $600 million isn’t enough.
“The federal resources in Texas are woefully inadequate to secure the border with Mexico, and Gov. Perry will continue urging the Obama administration to do its job and protect our citizens from the ruthless drug cartels,” Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said in a statement after Napolitano’s speech. “It’s unfortunate that a former border governor, who knows the implications of a porous border, continues to downplay the fact that there is a war waging within a stone’s throw, or for that matter, firing range, from our border communities.”
Our failing economy is blamed for the fallback of illegal immigrants entering the country. U.S. authorities deported 779,000 illegal immigrants nationwide in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, more than ever before. Of those, 195,000 were convicted criminals.
As Napolitano spoke, 50 students protested, outside the auditorium. Others protested increased U.S. efforts to fortify its southern border at the expense of economic opportunity. And during a 15 minute question and answer session Napolitano said that the US has to do more to stop the flow of American guns smuggled south to fuel Mexico’s drug war.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at 6:21 pm and is filed under Crime & Punishment, General, Immigration, In the News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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