Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did Obama give Rick what he wanted on border security?

A while back now, Rick asked Obama to send 1000 troops or law enforcement personnel to the border to crack down on international gangs and drug cartels.

Obama at first seemed to dismiss it entirely (link) but later made signals that the feds would be sending border reinforcements (link).

Today, the White House announced its decision (link). Excerpt:

Among the moves the government is making:

_Doubling the border enforcement security teams that combine local, state, and federal officers.

_Adding 16 new Drug Enforcement Administration positions in the southwest region. DEA currently has more than 1,000 agents working in the southwest border region.

_Sending 100 more people form the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to the border in the next 45 days. A recent bill passed by Congress already provided money for the ATF to hire 37 new agents and support staff in the region to fight gun trafficking.

The administration is also highlighting $700 million that Congress has already approved to support Mexico's efforts to fight the cartels.

Yet the plan so far falls short of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's request last month that 1,000 troops be sent to bolster border security in his state.

During a visit to El Paso last month, Perry said he had asked Napolitano for aviation assets and "1,000 more troops that we can commit to different parts of the border."

Asked then it he wanted the military, Perry said, "I really don't care. As long as they are boots on the ground that are properly trained to deal with the border region, I don't care whether they are military troops, or National Guard troops or whether they are customs agents."

Last week, a Perry spokeswoman said that federal border protection had been underfunded for some time and that the 1,000 extra troops Perry requested would fill in gaps that state and local agencies have been covering.

It looks like Rick got a little bit of what he wanted, but not everything. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano hinted that she may still be willing to send troops, but she wants to discuss the issue with Rick when she is in Texas later this week (link).

How will border security play in the race between Rick and Kay?

UPDATED at 3:01 PM...

There is video of Janet Napolitano making her announcement (link). Here it is:

Napolitano also issued a press release about her visit to Texas (link).


  1. ¡RON PAUL 2010! ¡RUN RON RUN!

  2. Did you see Obama asked about Rick Perry and this issue last night? He seemed frustrated by the question...


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.