The Obama administration announced Monday that illegal immigrants from Mexico have until Aug. 1 to make it across the U.S. border before it gets really serious about border security with the deployment of 1,200 additional National Guardsmen there.
Arizona Gov., Jan Brewer, who has complained along with the state legislature about inadequate federal security efforts on the border with Mexico, promptly responded by announcing $10 million in new grants to help local and state law enforcement agencies provide border security and combat illegal immigrants and associated crime.
I reject the Obama administration’s notion that Arizona’s border security is better than ever. Since the federal government continues to announce inadequate plans, and place new warning signs on federal lands in Arizona, we are forced to do what we can locally to act on safety and security until the Congress and the Administration act.
I have chosen to allocate nearly $10 million of my discretionary federal stimulus funds to support law enforcement officials who deal with the ramifications of illegal activity along the border on a daily basis.
The Aug. 1 troop deployment, announced weeks ago and being implemented next month to supplement previous border efforts, comes just three days after Arizona's tough new illegal immigrant enforcement is scheduled to take effect. The ACLU, Obama administration and government of Mexico, among others, are challenging the law in federal courts, seeking an injunction to halt the July 29 implementation, called S.B. 1070.
The Department of Homeland Security said the additional troops would be deployed for one year to support surveillance and efforts to combat international drug trafficking along the border.
It said 524 troops would go to Arizona, 224 to California, 250 to Texas, 72 to New Mexico and 130 somewhere else in command support roles. The troops set for Arizona equal almost two per mile of state border with Mexico.
Claiming "a sense of unprecedented urgency," the DHS statement quoted Secy. Janet Napolitano as saying:
Over the past year and a half, this administration has pursued a new border security strategy with an unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure. These troops will provide direct support to federal law enforcement officers and agents working in high-risk areas to disrupt criminal organizations seeking to move people and goods illegally across the Southwest border.
Here is the full text of a separate response by Gov. Brewer:
Part of my rationale for signing S.B. 1070 was to get the federal government to do its job and secure the border. Despite the mantra by the Obama administration that the border is “as secure as ever,” in Arizona both Republicans and Democrats recognize they have failed. Their failure to date is borne out by today’s announcement of more federal resources.
While the announcement of more resources is welcomed, it does not appear to be enough, or tied to a strategy to comprehensively defeat the increasingly violent drug and alien smuggling cartels that operate in Arizona on a daily basis. We need the implementation of a federal plan to achieve victory over these brutal cartels and the porous nature of our open border.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos: Associated Press