Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feds may reduce number of Guard troops at U.S. border

One year ago this week, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout in a remote smuggling area near here. Since then, federal authorities have ramped up the number of agents patrolling the entire southwestern border, particularly the region where he was shot. "We've put more people into those canyons," said Alan Bersin, the Customs and Border Protection commissioner. "The level of violence has come down. ... We are taking back this corridor. The progress is quite obvious. We're determined that Brian Terry did not die in vain." Bersin said the total number of illegal immigrants arrested along the border was down 53 percent in fiscal 2011 compared with fiscal 2008. Apprehensions in Arizona fell 41 percent in fiscal 2011 from fiscal 2010. "These numbers illustrate the investments made by CBP to improve border security (and) increase border efficiencies," Bersin said. Given the progress, federal authorities said Monday that they are considering a reduction in the number of National Guard troops stationed on the border. In 2010, President Barack Obama announced that he was temporarily sending 1,200 troops to help secure the border...more

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