3/4/2005 - Dems and Repubs both decry border security...
Both parties decry border security
By Suzanne Gamboa
WASHINGTON � Democratic and Republican House members found common ground Thursday in decrying the state of security on the nation�s borders � particularly with Mexico � and criticizing President Bush�s proposed spending for immigration enforcement.
Lawmakers shared concerns that terrorists might hide themselves among hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants and said the Border Patrol didn�t have the manpower or equipment to weed them out.
Especially vexing to the lawmakers was the practice of releasing into the United States non-Mexican immigrants arrested for illegally entering the country while they await deportation hearings.
�The Border Patrol remains our first line of defense against the entry into the country of terrorists, drug smugglers, gangs, criminal aliens and others seeking to break our laws,� said Rep. John Hostetler, R-Indiana, chairman of the Judiciary Committee�s subcommittee on immigration, border security and claims.
He added that he was disappointed by Bush�s proposal for funding the Border Patrol.
The lawmakers also said they were disappointed with Bush�s spending plan for 2006, which would provide $37 million to hire 210 Border Patrol agents. The intelligence reorganization bill Bush signed last year called for hiring 2,000 more agents a year over five years � nearly doubling the size of the Border Patrol.
When fiscal year 2004 ended Sept. 30, Border Patrol had 11,100 agents, up from the previous fiscal year�s total of 10,700, said Salvador Zamora, Customs and Border Patrol spokesman. As of January, the total dropped to 10,700, but the goal is to have 11,200 agents by the end of this fiscal year, he said.
In a hearing Wednesday, senators from both parties criticized Bush�s funding levels for border security, Robert C. Bonner, Customs and Border Protection commissioner, said in the hearing that spending on technology, such as radiation monitors and unmanned aerial vehicles, would help make up the staffing difference.
� The numbers of non-Mexican immigrants entering the country are increasing, said Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas.
� Nearly 40,000 non Mexican immigrants were released in the country last year, and they came from 135 countries, he said. Although they are required to report later for deportation hearings, many do no show up, Ortiz said.
� Ortiz showed lawmakers and the media news video of some non-Mexican immigrants being released and dropped off at bus stations. He said some take taxis to Border Patrol stations to get paperwork stating they are required to show up for a deportation hearing.
� �At least those we stop, let�s be sure we know who they are,� Ortiz said. He plans to introduce legislation next week to resolve some border security problems.
Subscribe to RedHerringNews Powered by groups.yahoo.comThe government and the NEWS should reflect, not determine, the desires of the people.The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. Stop the melodrama and constant trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2005
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