Thursday, April 16, 2009

Border Czar announced by President Obama

President Obama has chosed Alan Bersin to work with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to handle illegal immigration and drug violence issues along the Mexican-American border. Mr. Bersin held a similar position under Attorney General Janet Reno in the 1990s. His official title will be Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs.

Time magazine quotes Bersin as saying
What's going on in Mexico, across the border, in Juarez, requires that we support the government of Mexico in its very valiant, courageous effort to both stem violence and also deal with the drug trafficking organizations.
The Obama administration has promised to target border violence and work with Mexican authorities to curb drugs and arms trafficking. Hundreds of federal agents, along with high-tech surveillance gear and drug-sniffing dogs, are being deployed to the Southwest.

As reported by
CNN, Bersin is a former California secretary of education, superintendent of San Diego City Schools and practicing private attorney.

DHS has issued a detailed Fact Sheet explaining its approach toguarding the southern border. The goals are to:

1. Guard against violent crime spillover into the United States;
Support Mexico's crackdown campaign against drug cartels in Mexico; and
3. Reduce the movement of contraband in both directions across the border.

DHS aims to do this by the following initiatives:
  • Doubling Border Enforceement Security Task Force Staffing

  • Tripling DHS Intel Analysts on the SWB

  • Increasing ICE Attaché Personnel in Mexico by 50 percent

  • Doubling Violent Criminal Alien Sections Assignments

  • Quadrupling the Number of Border Liaison Officers

  • Bolstering Secure Communities Biometric Identification Deployment

  • Implementing 100% Southbound Rail Screening

  • Increased Maritime Interdiction Operations

  • Immediate Port of Entry resources enhancements

  • Periodic Evaluation and Review of the SWB Initiative.

Photo courtesy of Paul Garland

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