Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama's New Mexico Border Strategy

I think it's interesting that Mexican drug cartels largely exist because of the insatiable demand for drugs from Americans.
From the White House:
Today, Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg and United States Deputy Attorney General David Ogden will lay out the Administration’s comprehensive response to the situation along the border with Mexico. President Obama and his Administration are focused on all aspects of the U.S. relationship with Mexico because it is vital to core U.S. national interests.

The President is concerned by the increased level of violence, particularly in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, and the impact that it is having on the communities on both sides of the border. He believes that the United States must continue to monitor the situation and guard against spillover into the United States. And the President is firmly committed to ensuring our borders are secure and we are doing all we can to reduce illegal flows in both direction across the border.

We are taking steps on both sides of the border, working with our Mexican partners, to support the Mexican government’s campaign against the violent cartels and to reduce contraband in both directions across the border.

An outline of some of the steps:
We are moving to more effectively disrupt illegal flows of weapons and bulk cash to Mexico and to ensure that our border security remains resistant to the flow of drugs and violence into the United States.

DHS is developing a plan to supplement resources on the southwest border that includes the following elements:
Doubling Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST) teams that incorporate foreign, federal and state/local law enforcement and intelligence officers
Tripling DHS Intelligence Analysts working along the Southwest Border
Increasing ICE attaché staff in Mexico in support of Mexican law enforcement efforts
Doubling Violent Criminal Alien teams located in Southwest Border Field Offices
Quadrupling the number of Border Liaison Officers working with Mexican law enforcement entities
Bolstering Secure Communities Biometric Identification capabilities
Increasing southbound rail examinations
Enhancing the use of technology at ports of entry, including backscatter mobile x-ray
Increasing the number of canine units operating on the SW Border
Increasing engagement with state and local Southwest border law enforcement
Making up to $59 million in current Operation Stonegarden funding available to enhance state, local and tribal law enforcement operations and assets along the border
Increasing the use of mobile license plate readers for Southbound traffic on the SW Border
Read more here.
CNN's story here.