Washington finally taking action on border

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The drone warriors who have distinguished themselves so well in Iraq and Afghanistan are now protecting our southwest border with Mexico.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that beginning Wednesday, Predator Unmanned Aerial System flights will begin out of Corpus Christi, Texas, extending such coverage all the way from California to the Gulf of Mexico.

But it's not all drones.

In the last year, the number of personnel assigned to border enforcement has doubled, from about 10,000 in 2004 to more than 20,000 today, tripled the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers working along the U.S.-Mexico border, quadrupled deployments of border liaison officers, and begun screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments for illegal weapons, drugs and cash.

In addition President Obama has authorized another 1,200 National Guard troops to provide intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance until Customs and Border Protection has time to recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border, and is spending $600 million to improve security technology at the border, share information and support with state, local and tribal law enforcement, and increase federal law enforcement activities at the border.

The tightened security has been a long time coming. Many have called securing our border the first basic step in dealing with the illegal immigration issue.

But the credit should go to Arizona lawmakers for passing that state's controversial anti-illegal immigration legislation, and even Fremont, Nebraska, voters who felt forced to take the issue into their own hands.

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