Here is an excerpt from Jonathon Shacat's article in The Sierra Vista Herald:
"The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents that are deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border will be cut soon, while the amount along the U.S.-Canada border will be expanded, a federal official said. On Thursday, Lloyd Easterling, acting media director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the planned changes will be implemented in fiscal year 2010, which begins next Thursday. 'We have been adding agents for several years and now have about 20,000,' he told the Herald/Review on Thursday. 'Importantly, we also have added tactical infrastructure plus new and improved technology which act as force multipliers and allow us to expand our coverage area. Smart deployment of these resources allows us to properly evaluate and move resources where we need them to continue securing our borders incrementally so that we can get the job done the right way.' During the current fiscal year, 17,399 agents have been deployed on the nation’s southern border, but that will be decreased by 384, for a total of 17,015, Easterling confirmed." Link to Full Article
Analysis: This news story is absolutely baffling. Back in March, I posted on the US government's plan to send 360 federal security agents to the border and into Mexico, saying 360 agents wasn't enough. I conceded a little bit when the number of agents being sent to the SW border jumped to somewhere around 600, but later I learned many of them were USBP interns fresh out of school. This means they can't do much on their own, and aren't a significant source of immediate manpower help for the USBP. The border governors have been screaming left and right for the deployment of National Guard troops, and after being denied so many times, TX Governor Rick Perry finally decided to send in the Texas Rangers. No, not the baseball team.
So now the US government is changing its mind. Whaaaa??? That line about increased technology acting as a force multiplier is only partly true. Some USBP stations have access to scopes so they can see their territory better, but that doesn't automatically mean they have the manpower or resources to RESPOND every time they see a problem. What good is knowing you have a problem if you can't do anything about it because you don't have enough PEOPLE?
Just last week, I posted on an article that talks about Napolitano halting border projects because of controversy over stimulus fund spending on quiet northern border crossings. I'll be the first one to say that our northern border is nowhere NEAR as "fortified" as our SW border. However, that doesn't mean that resources should be taken away from one and sent to the other, especially just a few months after hundreds of additional agents were slated to be sent to the SW border. I'm tempted to scream "POLITICS!" because I just don't understand this non-sensical and absolutely ridiculous move.