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Grounded Aerial Surveillance Stopped 110,000 Illegals at Border

Grounded Aerial Surveillance Stopped 110,000 Illegals at Border

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 November 2016 01:45 PM

Surveillance flights nabbed 110,000 illegal immigrants trying to cross into the United State from Mexico, The Daily Signal reports.

The flights, operating under a program called Operation Phalanx, were shut down — at least for the rest of the year by Homeland Security — amid protests from elected officials who represent the adjacent area.

According to the Daily Signal, Operation Phalanx logged 2,800 hours of flight time in in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo sectors in Texas since March. About 1,000 additional flight hours were reported in the Tucson, Arizona area.

The flights were credited with stopping 64,000 illegal border crossings in the Rio Grand sector and 25,000 in Laredo. Phalanx also apprehended another 21,000 people attempted to cross illegally in the Tucson area.

Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske maintained the program "provided tangible benefits to border security."

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas,) co-signed a letter of protest to Homeland Security along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn, (R-Texas) All are trying to jumpstart the program for 2017.

The program used UH-72 helicopters flown by the National Guard. The aircrafts are equipped with night vision surveillance capabilities.

According to the Daily Signal, reports revealed more than 300,000 pounds of marijuana were also seized during the Phalanx operations.

Meanwhile, elected officials continue to be up in arms over the grounded flights, particularly Gov. Abbott, who took to Twitter to blast President Barack Obama.

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Surveillance flights nabbed 110,000 illegal immigrants trying to cross into the United State from Mexico, The Daily Signal reports.
aerial, surveillance, stop, thousands, illegals, border
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2016-45-30
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 01:45 PM
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