Thursday, April 23, 2009
Something isn’t working.
In late 2005 Michael Chertoff, the new secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), launched the “Secure Border Initiative” as the umbrella program for border control and immigration enforcement. The announced goal of SBI, described as “a comprehensive multiyear plan to secure America’s borders and reduce illegal migration,” was to gain “operational control of both the northern and southern borders within five years.”
[efoods]Now, in response to calls for more border security by regional politicians and fears of a spillover of Mexico’s drug-related violence, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced a renewed operational focus on southwest border security. The new initiative, “The Southwest Border: The Way Ahead,” continues to meet recent increases of cartel violence in Mexico with strong action and solidified coordination with federal, state, local, tribal, and Mexican authorities.
SBI benefited from an infusion of new congressional funding initiatives in 2005 and 2006 for the border wall, the virtual fence, more Border Patrol agents, and more detention beds. The new initiative, in contrast, will largely rely on redeploying existing personnel and resources to the border. It emphasizes increased collaboration between federal and local law enforcement agencies to rid the country of “criminal aliens” and to interdict flows of drugs and arms.