POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011 - 7:18pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 12:03pm
The Secretary of Homeland Security is in the borderland today, telling El Pasoans the strategy to secure the border is working and warning cartels not to cross over into the U.S.
"Today I say to the cartels: don't even think about bringing your violence and tactics across this border," said secretary Janet Napolitano. "You will be met by an overwhelming response."
Napolitano says the United States is more prepared than ever to defeat the cartels.
"Illegal immigration is decreasing, deportations are increasing, crime rates are dropping," she continued.
She says since the Southwest Border Initiative began almost two years ago, border cities are safer than they've ever been despite statements that they are overrun with violence.
"This statement, often made to score cheap political points, is just plain wrong," Napolitano said.
It's a sentiment that UTEP President Diana Natalicio shares.
"The world that I know that I live every day are represented in ways that don't ring true," Dr. Natalicio said.
But what about the bullet that hit a UTEP dorm room in August?
"The secretary is acutely aware of these kinds of issues, we're just very very happy that is occurred at a time when no one was here," Dr. Natalicio said.
Napolitano says that neither this fence nor the virtual one are enough. That's why the number of border patrol agents has doubled in the last six years. Napolitano says there's 1,000 more to come. But according to Congressman Silvestre Reyes they most likely won't be coming to El Paso.
"The area they're focused on is Arizona, but that could change; it's a mobile force," Reyes said.
He says we will be getting more Customs and Border Patrol Agents for our ports of entry. All in an effort to secure the border and outrun the cartels.
"We're going to continue to work with our partners in Mexico to dismantle and defeat you," Napolitano said.
She also said the virtual fence is too expensive and ineffective. The Department of Homeland Security will be re-diverting funds set for the virtual fence to other technologies, like unmanned drones.