News / USA

US Budget Limits Border Security Resources

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, February 9, 2011
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, February 9, 2011

The shooting of two U.S. border agents in Mexico on Tuesday raises questions about how the U.S. can step up the fight against Mexican drug cartels and protect U.S. borders with limited resources because of a tight budget.  

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says the demands on her department have never been greater, especially in the wake of the shooting death of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata. 

"I can speak for the entire administration when I say we are not only saddened by the loss of an agent, but we are outraged by this act of violence against an officer of the United States," she said.

Zapata was killed and another agent was shot in the leg Tuesday in Mexico when the two stopped at what appeared to be a military checkpoint, possibly set up by drug traffickers.  The Mexican military says it has no checkpoints in that area.

On Thursday at a Senate Homeland Security hearing on the budget, Napolitano said the death of Zapata makes the U.S. even more determined to do everything it can to protect against, mitigate and respond to threats. "We remain relentless in efforts to keep our border secure and to assist Mexico in breaking up the cartels that are plaguing that country," she said.

Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama released his budget proposal which includes nearly $300 million for border technology, $229 million for border personnel and additional border patrol agents and officers.

Napolitano says Mr. Obama's budget proposal for the DHS is enough, but just the minimum amount needed to carry out the department's plans to secure the border.

"President Obama's [fiscal year] 2012 budget for the department allows us to continue to meet these evolving threats and challenges by prioritizing our essential operational requirements, while reflecting an unprecedented commitment to fiscal discipline that maximizes the effectiveness of every security dollar that we receive," she said.

The secretary said the current budget proposal cuts several security measures, including improvements in technology investment for the borders, funding to sustain the progress that's been made in enforcing our immigration laws and intelligence personnel in state and local terrorism prevention and response centers.

Former head of American Immigration Lawyers Association Charles Kuck says our borders are more secure than they ever have been, but he says the U.S. still faces imminent threats and needs to focus its resources on where people are likely to cross the border.

"The government can't stop everything. I think the government is doing an effective job with the dollars that they have and the people that they have, but you have to balance this against the budget people are screaming about. We can’t spend every dollar on border security. We have to spend it smart. We have to spend it in the way we get the most bang for our buck," he said.

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office finds that only 15 percent of the 3,200 kilometer long southwest border with Mexico is sealed, with the other 85 percent being managed.  A similar report shows about 52 kilometers of the 6,400 kilometer long northern border with Canada has reached an acceptable level of security.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid