NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

TEXAS NEEDS FEDERAL AGENTS

February 23, 2005

The American people face a grave threat on their own border -- the illegal crossings that bring legions of unknown foreigners into the country, says the Dallas Morning News. The gaping flaws were once boringly commonplace. They are now terrifyingly commonplace.

How so? Last week, the No. 2 Homeland Security official told Congress that intelligence "strongly suggests" that al-Qaeda operatives have considered the Mexican border for entry. The official, Adm. James M. Loy, called it a "very serious situation."

Each failure to apprehend someone crossing illegally means a potential hijacker or dirty-bomb maker is in our midst, says the DMN:

  • Just this past weekend in Fort Worth, railroad police nabbed 37 Mexicans hiding in a freight train -- the ones who didn't run off.
  • The DMN reported Sunday how military-trained enforcers for a Mexican drug cartel are posted across the nation and have carried out assassinations in Dallas.

Despite a glaring need for more border personnel, the Bush administration is backsliding on a post-Sept. 11 recommendation to hire 2,000 more Border Patrol agents a year, says the DMN. The president's new budget proposes $37 million to hire 210 new agents, well short of the target Congress set two months ago:

  • House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Christopher Cox -- a Republican --called this hiring plan "wholly inadequate."
  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn says that strengthened border security cannot be accomplished without immigration reform.

The DMN recommends the senator and White House work with dispatch to solve the politics of this emotional issue and forge a workable "guest worker" program so the nation can better police comings and goings on the border.

Source: Editorial, " Get Serious About Security: Texas needs help strengthening its borders," Dallas Morning News, February 23, 2005.

 

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