Skip to comments.Homeland Security Considers Using Guard Along U.S.-Mexico Border
Posted on 03/24/2009 4:54:53 PM PDT by SandRat
| WASHINGTON, March 24, 2009 The Department of Homeland Security is still considering the use of National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with several other initiatives, the DHS secretary said in a White House press briefing today.
This issue requires immediate action, Janet Napolitano said. We are guided by two very clear objectives. First, we are going to do everything we can to prevent the violence in Mexico from spilling over across the border.
And second, we will do all in our power to help President [Felipe] Calderón crack down on these drug cartels in Mexico.
Napolitano plans to meet March 26 with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry has expressed the need for more Guard troops or border agents along the states border with Mexico to disrupt operations of the Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, Barrio Azteca, MS-13 and other violent transnational gangs.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has asked Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for more Guard troops for the federally funded Joint Counter Narco-terrorism Task Force. That force includes about 150 Army and Air National Guard members in Arizona.
Earlier this month, Gates said on NBC-TVs Meet the Press that the United States is now in a better position to help Mexico. Some of the old biases against cooperation between our militaries I think are being set aside, he said.
The last major federal National Guard mission along the U.S.-Mexico border was Operation Jump Start. The two-year mission, from June 2006 to July 2008, dispatched as many as 6,000 National Guard members to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to make the border more secure for legal immigration and commerce until the U.S. Border Patrol could boost its own ranks. Pentagon officials have said that a call up to help stop Mexicos drug wars would be a very different mission.
National Guard Bureau
Department of Homeland Security
The beginings of the North American Union, people! Distabilize Mexico and move in
The governor doesnt favor militarization of the border, Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine LEcuyer said Monday."
Destabilize Mexico? What about the US? He’s doing a wonderful job of that.
My initial thought on hearing about this was that this is being done in preparation for the coming amnesty bill. The Dems will say “What is the problem? We are working very hard to keep the drug dealers out of the U.S. What do you have against these poor undocumented workers who deserve amnesty? Is it because their skin is darker than yours? You must be a crazy racist, xenophobe,” etc.
Theater of the absurd on the border.
March 24, 2009
Note: The following text is a quote:
Department of Justice Announces Resources for Fight Against Mexican Drug Cartels
WASHINGTON Today Deputy Attorney General David Ogden announced increased efforts and reallocation of DOJ personnel to combat Mexican drug cartels in the United States and to help Mexican law enforcement battle cartels in their own country. Deputy Attorney General Ogden was joined in announcing a comprehensive response to the situation on the Southwest border by Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano and Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg.
“For more than a quarter century, U.S. law enforcement agencies have recognized that the best way to fight the most sophisticated and powerful criminal organizations is through intelligence-based investigations to target the greatest threats,” said Deputy Attorney General David Ogden. “The Departments Mexican Cartel Strategy confronts those cartels as criminal organizations. As weve found with other large criminal groups, if you take their money and lock up their leaders, you can loosen their grips on the vast organizations they use to carry out their criminal enterprises. The Department of Justice is committed to taking advantage of all available resources to target the Mexican cartels and to help our Mexican counterparts in their courageous effort to take on these criminal organizations.”
Today the United States announced it will be investing $700 million this year in enhancing Mexican law enforcement and judicial capacity and working closely to coordinate efforts against the cartels. The Department of Justice, through the FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Criminal Division and the Office of Justice Programs, will work to investigate and prosecute cartel members for their illegal activities in the United State and with law enforcement colleagues to disrupt illegal flows of weapons and bulk cash to Mexico.
The Mexican Cartel Strategy, led by the Deputy Attorney General, uses federal prosecutor-led task forces that bring together all law enforcement components to identify, disrupt and dismantle the Mexican drug cartels through investigation, prosecution and extradition of their key leaders and facilitators, and seizure and forfeiture of their assets. The Department is increasing its focus on investigations and prosecutions of the southbound smuggling of guns and cash that fuel the violence and corruption and attacking the cartels in Mexico itself, in partnership with the Mexican Attorney Generals Office (PGR) and the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP).
DEA, already the largest U.S. drug enforcement presence in Mexico with 11 offices in that country, is placing 16 new positions in its Southwest border field divisions. With this increase, 29 percent of DEAs domestic agent positions (1,180 agents) are now allocated to its Southwest border field divisions. DEA is also forming four additional Mobile Enforcement Teams (METs) to specifically target Mexican methamphetamine trafficking operations and associated violence, both along the border and in U.S. cities impacted by the cartels.
ATF is increasing its efforts by relocating 100 personnel to the Houston Field Division in the next 45 days as part of a new ATF intelligence-driven effort, known as Gunrunner Impact Teams (GRITs). The teams will focus ATFs violent crime-fighting and firearms trafficking expertise, along with its regulatory authority and strategic partnerships to combat violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
As part of the Recovery Act funding, ATF received $10 million for Project Gunrunner efforts, aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico, to include hiring 25 new special agents, six industry operations investigators, three intelligence research specialists and three investigative analysts. The funding will establish three permanent field offices, dedicated to firearms trafficking investigations, in McAllen, Texas; El Centro, Calif.; and Las Cruces, N.M (including a satellite office in Roswell, N.M.). Project Gunrunner has resulted in ATF referring more than 1,500 defendants for prosecution involving more than 12,000 weapons.
ATF will also continue its eTrace initiative with Mexican officials, which allows law enforcement agencies to identify trafficking trends of drug trafficking organizations and other criminal organizations funneling guns into Mexico from the United States, as well as to develop investigative leads in order to stop firearms traffickers and straw purchasers (people who knowingly purchase guns for prohibited persons) before they cross the border. In FY08, Mexico submitted more than 7,500 recovered guns for tracing, showing that most originated in Texas, Arizona and California.
The FBI is stepping up its efforts along the Southwest border by creating a Southwest Intelligence Group (SWIG), which will serve as a clearinghouse of all FBI activities involving Mexico. The FBI will also increase its focus on public corruption, kidnappings and extortion relating to Southwest border issues.
Already, the FBI has undertaken successful initiatives in Mexico and Central America, including the Central American Fingerprint Exchange (CAFÉ) initiative. The FBI will continue this initiative, which was developed to collect, store, and integrate biometric data from El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and the Mexican state of Chiapas into a central database accessible to U.S. law enforcement, as well as the Transnational Anti-Gang initiative, which coordinates the sharing of gang intelligence between the U.S. and El Salvador.
USMS has stepped-up its efforts along the Southwest border, deploying 94 additional Deputy U.S. Marshals during the last eight months and sending four additional deputies to Mexico City to assist the Marshals Service Mexico City Foreign Field Office.
USMS is increasing its efforts in the Southwest border region under the Mexico Investigative Liaison Program, a cross-border violent fugitive apprehension initiative where USMS personnel, through daily contact with Mexican law enforcement, provide a rapid international response to law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border in the apprehension of fugitives who commit crimes and flee across the international border.
Twenty-five new Criminal Investigators-Asset Forfeiture Specialists have been placed in USMS asset forfeiture units in the field. The new positions are unique in that they will be solely dedicated to the USMS Asset Forfeiture Division and will support U.S. Attorneys Offices and investigative agencies in investigations of cartels and other large-scale investigations.
In addition, DOJs Organized Drug Enforcement Task Forces Program (OCDETF) is adding analyst personnel to its strike force capacity along the Southwest border and the Office of Justice Programs will be investing $30 million in stimulus funding to assist with state and local law enforcement to combat narcotics activity coming through the southern border and in high intensity drug trafficking areas. State and local law enforcement organizations along the border can apply for COPS and Byrne Justice Assistance grants from the $3 billion provided for those programs in the stimulus package.
March 24, 2009
Note: The following text is a quote:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today several Southwest border initiatives designed to crack down on Mexican drug cartels through enhanced border security. The plan calls for additional personnel, increased intelligence capability and better coordination with state, local and Mexican law enforcement authorities.
This issue requires immediate action, said Secretary Napolitano. We are guided by two very clear objectives. First, we are going to do everything we can to prevent the violence in Mexico from spilling over across the border. And second, we will do all in our power to help President Calderón crack down on these drug cartels in Mexico.
The announcements reflect an emphasis on information sharing and integration with state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as an effort to further engage Mexican authorities. With violence escalating across the border, Secretary Napolitano will increase personnel and improve screening and technology to help Mexico target illegal guns, drugs and cash.
In addition, DHS will initiate strategic redeployments totaling more than 360 additional officers and agents at the border and in Mexico. Costs across the board, totaling up to $184 million, will be revenue neutral, funded by realigning from less urgent activities, fund balances, and, in some cases, reprogramming.
DHS will double assignments to ICEs Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST), from 95 to 190, at a cost of $5.7 million; triple the number of intelligence analysts working at the border, at a cost of $3.3 million; and increase ICE Attaché personnel, agents working in troubled areas in Mexico such as Ciudad Juarez and Hermosillo, by 50 percent, from 24 to 36 agents, at a cost of $650,000. The ICE Attaché in Mexico City seized more than $25 million in U.S. currency since fiscal year 2008 through a partnership with CBP called Operation Firewall.
In addition, Secretary Napolitano announced that ICE will double agents assigned to Criminal Alien Program Violent Criminal Alien Sections, located in the five Southwest border field offices, adding 50 agents and officers, at a cost of $2.3 million; and quadruple the number of agents designated as Border Liaison Officers, who work to create cooperative relationships between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement authorities, from 10 to 40, at no cost.
DHS will also send new technology to the border, bolstering Secure Communities biometric identification deployment at locations at the highest risk for violence committed by criminal aliens, at a cost of $95 million, and implementing 100 percent southbound rail screening using non-intrusive inspection equipment to detect anomalies in rail cars.
Furthermore, CBP will enhance resources at ports of entry, moving more Z-Backscatter mobile X-ray units, used to help identify anomalies in passenger vehicles, to the Southwest border. CBP is deploying 100 Border Patrol agents to augment outbound inspections at ports of entry, where they will implement more high-tech screening devices, 12 new deployments of teams of cross-trained canines that can detect both weapons and currency, and eight additional Law Enforcement Tactical Centershubs of information sharing between CBP and local enforcers.
Upgraded License Plate Readers, which help identify suspected smugglers vehicles, will be installed on 52 out of 110 outbound lanes, at a cost of $13 million total. In addition, three Mobile Response Teams of 25 CBP Officers each will be deployed to the Southwest border. And up to $59 million in remaining fiscal years 2006-08 Operation Stonegarden funding will be made available to enhance state, local and tribal law enforcement operations and assets along the border.
In recent weeks, Secretary Napolitano has made outreach to state and local law enforcement authorities on the Southwest border a major priority. Assistant Secretary for State and Local Law Enforcement Ted Sexton is currently visiting border communities to meet with chiefs of police and sheriffs. DHS is also holding bi-monthly classified conference calls with local authorities to share intelligence.
In addition, CBP and ICE officials have seen significant success in confiscating illegal weapons and cash headed Southbound at the Southwest border. On Friday, CBP officers at Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge in Laredo, Texas, seized nearly $3 million in U.S. currency hidden in a bus. Operation Armas Cuzadas seized 997 firearms at or near the border during March 7-13. In total, that operation has captured more than $4.5 million over nine weeks.
This page was last reviewed/modified on March 24, 2009.
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