May 6, 2011
Janet Napolitano’s Testimoney to the US Senate:
Chairman Lieberman, Senator Collins, and members of the Committee: Thank you for this opportunity to testify today about the unprecedented resources that have been dedicated to securing the Southwest border over the past two years, the progress that has been made as a result, and the metrics we can use to better assess future progress.
Over the past two years, this Administration has dedicated more resources to securing the Southwest border than ever before, in terms of manpower, technology, and infrastructure. Our partnership with Mexico is strong, and we continue to support Mexico’s efforts to combat the drug cartels that are headquartered in that country. The actions being taken at the border are occurring alongside strong, serious, and strategic enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the United States, focused on removing illegal immigrants who have violated our criminal laws as well as those who pose other threats to public safety, and on employers who repeatedly or egregiously violate the law. Using Recovery Act funds in addition to other resources, the federal government has also made critical investments in improving and expanding outdated port infrastructure at the Southwest border to enhance enforcement while facilitating the flow of legal travel and trade. As a person who grew up in New Mexico and spent most of my adult life in Arizona, and who has walked the border, flown it, ridden it on horseback, and worked with border communities from Brownsville to San Diego, I can say from personal experience that these steps constitute the most comprehensive and dedicated effort to strengthen border security that our country has ever deployed.