POSTED: Friday, August 13, 2010 - 8:18pm
UPDATED: Sunday, August 15, 2010 - 10:42am
That big Border Security Bill is a done deal. With the Homeland Security Director looking on, President Obama signed the $600 million measure today. Despite that big price tag, critics argue it's not nearly enough.
Twenty-eight-thousand people have died in Mexico's drug war in the past four years. One in four was killed in Juarez. With violence beginning to spill over the border, President Obama signed a $600 million dollar bill to beef up border security.
"We will finally have the capability to deploy our manpower in a way where we can continuously and immediately change our tactics to respond to changes in the tactics of smugglers and traffickers," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York.
The measure will add 1,000 border patrol agents, 250 border protection officers and 250 immigration personnel to target drug smugglers.
Earlier this week, the President was in Texas and the governor asked him to act.
But cracking down on the border could bring a potential backlash from Latinos for a President who promised to support immigration reform. Mid-term elections are only three months away, and the Obama administration is relying heavily on Latino voters to keep Democrats in office.
Democrats argue the the Border Bill is a first step to addressing the larger issue of immigration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the President is working on it.
"You need to secure the border and have a safe and secure area and you need immigration reform. That is what this President has set out to do and that's what he has asked the Department of Homeland security to work on," said Napolitano.