Leadership Journal

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Southwest Border

Secretary Napolitano on border with ICE agents.
Last week I traveled to Mexico, with brief stops in California and Texas. The purpose of my visit was to meet with my foreign counterparts, assess the situation on the Southwest Border with respect to drug cartel violence, hear directly from federal, state, tribal, and local officials, and announce some additional resources we are deploying to the border to help Mexico in its fight against these dangerous cartels.

In California, I met with state and local leaders in San Diego, toured the border and visited the Otay Mesa port of entry – one of the busiest commercial ports on the Southwest border.

More than $400 million in Recovery Act funds is being directed to the Southwest border. This money will be used to upgrade infrastructure at the ports of entry, add technology and inspection equipment, and strengthen our surveillance and communications capabilities.

In Mexico, I visited with my foreign counterparts, and along with Attorney General Holder, attended an important conference on arms trafficking. The smuggling of guns is a serious problem and contributes to a lot of the violence we’re seeing in Mexico among the drug cartels and organized criminal networks.

To combat the problem, we are moving substantial resources to border, including more than 360 additional DHS officers and agents, license plate readers that will allow us to scan for suspect vehicles, southbound rail screening, and additional grant funding for state and local law enforcement. These measures will help us counter the flow of guns and cash into Mexico while protecting cities and communities along the border.

Finally, on my return, I stopped in Laredo, Texas to meet with community leaders, speak with members of the Laredo Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), which is a multi-agency law enforcement team that fights criminal organizations and smugglers, and visit the Laredo port of entry. In recent weeks, we’ve made several significant seizures of cash and guns in Laredo, including more than $3 million discovered in a hidden compartment in the floor of a bus bound for Mexico.

Examples like this impede the ability of criminal organizations to fund their activities. Since the start of this fiscal year, CBP and ICE together have seized more than $55 million in cash, over 630 weapons, and nearly 125,000 rounds of ammunition.

We’re going to continue to keep the pressure on. I consider this a historic opportunity to help Mexico confront a serious threat that impacts the safety and security of both of our countries. We all have a stake in this fight, and here at the Department we’re going to continue to do our part to make sure we succeed.

Janet Napolitano

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  • Look at Secretary Napolitano, saving the world! Definitely proud of her... but I would be lying if I didn't say that Arizona misses you.

    I believe this is a historic opportunity as well. Both countries (not to mention the border states) are suffering greatly from this trafficking epidemic. It is time that someone got real about the issue and tries (with high hopes of succeeding) to make a difference.

    By OpenID J Rizzo, At April 7, 2009 4:26 PM  

  • Please do more worksite enforcment raids! We need those jobs to open up! By not doing them, you are sending a "signal" that you don't care about the law or America. ( or it's citizens!).

    By not doing worksite enforcement raids, your saying "anything goes" break any law you want, anyplace you want.......we don't mind if citizens suffer without jobs or have to pay the way for lawbreakers who do not respect us!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 8, 2009 6:20 PM  

  • As a citizen I can see this is only a drop in the bucket of what you need to do to secure our border and our interior.
    We have only to look and see how many illegal aliens have OUR JOBS to know you have not yet done enough!

    By Anonymous Border Citizen, At April 9, 2009 10:44 AM  

  • Border Citizen,
    Indeed there are many illegal immigrants here in the states. However, because there are so many this process will not be complete over night. Not to mention the fact that DHS has only been under "new management" for only a few months. Believe me, I want what is best for America and not enough has been up to this point. However, I have full faith that this will change. It was a top priority of Napolitano's while she was in Arizona and it will be a top priority while she is in DC. But also keep in mind that she now has the rest of the country to worry about as well.

    By OpenID J Rizzo, At April 9, 2009 1:23 PM  

  • Our neighborhood just received a new shipment of 20,000 rounds of ammunition.

    Does the Director think that will be enough when the next push for Amnesty starts??

    This is becoming a very dangerous situation and we are afraid it is going to get out of hand with the seemingly default position of the government is to screw its own citizens. And perhaps something should be done to thwart that.

    The citizens have said over and over they want ENFORCEMENT and harsh enforcement to start. THEN a complete RETHINKING of the entire CONCEPT of immigration with a focus on should we close ALL immigration for 10 years to allow for assimilation.

    Then open a very slow and well regulated with fingerprint and DNA ID for the next groups.

    And STOP these nasty Diversity visa nonsense. We should not bring 3rd worlders into this society. Remember the Star Trek Prime Directive. Do not interfere with other societies.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 10, 2009 5:15 PM  

  • To Anonymous @ 5:15 pm:

    What "nasty" diversity nonsense are you talking about? While some "3rd worlders" do immigrate under the Diversity Lottery, many 1st worlders do as well: immigrants from Europe, Japan, Australia and other highly industrialized societies all use the DV lottery.

    Your naked racism is disgusting - given that the US is founded on a violation of the "prime directive" (we pretty much wiped out the native American societies that were here) - the arrogance of claiming that those people won't fit into this society is absurd.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 13, 2009 12:30 PM  

  • Just In:
    Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued Employment Authorization Cards to the 27 aliens arrested in Seattle. We are being told by supporters that:
    This was done so those aliens can stay in country and file lawsuits against the Seattle ICE agents!

    Incredible. But, actually, nothing is incredible in the Obama era. Anything goes.

    But there's more. ICE agents also say that an ICE investigation into Customs inspections of freight was shut down by ICE headquarters because the ICE agents might find illegal aliens and arrest them. And we can't have that. ICE agents were told to be sure that this info didn't end up leaked to Debbie Schlussels site. Guys, her site is a good site by the way, check it out. She has the goods on the ICE and dangerous Islamists in the country.

    As the 27 illegal aliens got work authorization in Washington State, a couple of ICE agents in New Orleans, including [DS: name redacted] one of the best at Customs Investigations, put together an operation with Customs and Border Protection to inspect "In-Bond" Warehouses and freight yards. This was for the explicit purpose of searching for Customs violations. These types of searches usually bring forth good seizures and penalties. But ICE HQ shut the operation down because, "the investigating agents might encounter illegal aliens. Since we are getting away from worksite investigations, we don't want to risk that." . . .

    After that happened, Special Agent in Charge Mike Holt warned the New Orleans office agents to keep that information within the office because he did not want it getting leaked and ending up on Debbie Schlussel's blog.

    To bad..its out. I keep this information for my weekly visits to my congressman and senator staff.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 13, 2009 9:37 PM  

  • Those of us who actually live along our border have acute reason to be more concerned than the rest of the country about our own safety from “cartel-spillover”! We would like to see the southern border better “sealed” off. Why can’t you put the National Guard back at the border? Especially all along the wide open spaces between the official ports!

    Our border communities also bear too much of the illegal alien spillover as well. Our services are overrun, our own crime rates and quality of life has been affected because of our close proximity to the southern border. It is my opinion you need to “crack down” a lot more aggressively on illegal immigration in border communities.

    Thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 14, 2009 1:09 PM  

  • So there is now $400 million in Recovery Act funds going to the border so we can have more of this: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/16/border-patrol-beat-u.html

    A christian pastor is brutalized by boarder agents for standing up for his 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Watch the 8 min. video.

    What is happening to our country and freedoms? Please have the DHS Secretary respond to this incident.

    By Anonymous Berlin Neon, At April 16, 2009 2:38 PM  

  • I am a retired service member.

    I am against abortion.

    I am against illegal immigration and think that people who have immigrated within the law should have first crack at the oath.

    I am politically conservative.

    Apparently by DHS standards I some sort of Right Wing Crackpot and a Threat.

    You owe every serviceman an apology.

    90 days in office and you have lost all credibility.

    Perhaps you need to spend time here rather than in Mexico!

    By Blogger RB, At April 16, 2009 5:16 PM  

    It is completely unethical to prevent the implementation of the E-Verify executive order when so many Americans (13+ million) are out of work. Do you truly believe that illegal aliens should have access to 7 million jobs when so many American workers are unable to find one?

    Please act to dispel any notion that your administration has lost respect or sympathy for unemployed American workers. Your refusal to implement the executive order mandating the use of E-Verify by government contractors (an action that would help American workers) troubles me greatly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 17, 2009 4:47 PM  

  • The lack of enforcment is scary at the border, and it is creeping into towns all across this country.
    If you had been enforcing all the laws to begin with, we would not be in this trouble today.

    Before our country is gone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 17, 2009 4:52 PM  

  • Lack of border enforcement is inexcusable!

    Time to get going on a real border enforcement program that works ---or do you really like it this way??

    One would think that if the Federal Government really cared about this problem that they might act like it or act on it rather than putting band-aids on gaping flesh wounds.

    Why are we calling the National Guard to other countries when our own country is under attack from Mexico? Why do we search grandmothers getting onto airplanes when it is clear that getting into this country illegally requires no serious thought out plans??

    This entire department is a joke and an insult to real border security…if we really thought this were a threat to America we would act like it were.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 24, 2009 11:33 AM  

  • I've lived in this country for almost 18 years, legal for every second of it! I'm highly educated (PhD), pay taxes, have health insurance and now I am married to a permanent resident, have a baby who is a US Citizen and have been trying to become a permanent resident since 2007 based on employment! Still no luck and the last correspondence I had with the USCIS was that I will have to leave the country in May and wait for the visa number to become available...while my husband and baby are here, or the baby comes with me and misses out on his daddy! And then there are people who break the law, and get employment authorization! Can I please get a break too?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 28, 2009 3:34 PM  

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