Obama Administration Faulted on Border Policies

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 03:10 PM

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Border Patrol agents in one sector along the U.S.-Mexico line have staunched what was once a record flow of illegal immigrants and drugs. Yet President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to replicate the success in other parts of the borders area, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., recently lambasted Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for failing to improve border security. The Border Patrol succeeded along the Yuma Sector in Arizona by tripling the number of agents and adding observations posts equipped with giant spotlights. At the same time, Justice Department officials started prosecuting border crossers, charging and convicting them of unlawful entry into the country. As a result, the Yuma area saw a drop in the number of arrests from 138,460 in 2005 to 7,116 last year.

"It was chaos," said Rodolfo "Rudy" Karisch, acting chief agent of the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector. "Now, we've been able to manage it . . . The border can be controlled if you apply the right resources."
McCain and others want to know why the same resources haven’t been applied to other areas like the Tucson Sector. Nearly half of all illegal-immigrant arrests along the border take place in the Tucson Sector, where narcotics seizures set a record last year.

Administration officials say what worked in one area won’t necessarily work in another area.

George "Zach" Taylor, a founding member of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, has said that environmental regulations within wilderness areas and wildlife refuges magnify the problem for border agents.

Federal restrictions make it impossible to bulldoze more coverage routes or build new radio towers to better protect the border, he said.

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