Representative Ann Kirkpatrick today called on Congressional leadership to include hiring, training and deploying 3,500 new Border Patrol (USBP) agents to the southern border in the omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2011. This is the same number included in the Southern Border Security Act she introduced earlier this year. Rep. Kirkpatrick, Arizona's only Member on the House Committee on Homeland Security, seeks to add this measure to the appropriations bill to ensure it moves forward as quickly as possible.
Congresswoman Kirkpatrick has been fighting tirelessly to secure the border and protect our communities, with the drug war in Mexico burning hotter than ever and cartel violence increasingly threatening to spill over into this country. Earlier this year, she successfully pushed the House and Senate to provide the resources to hire an additional 1,000 USBP agents and other security personnel, and pressured the Administration to deploy 1,200 National Guard troops to the region. However, she knows the job is still not done, and she is working to put more boots on the ground and more resources in place to keep Arizonans safe and crack down on the cartels' drug, gun, cash and human smuggling operations.
Rep. Kirkpatrick wrote the following:
"Although we have had important successes in bringing additional agents and resources to the border region, Washington still needs to do far more, as our communities are still carrying too much of the burden for the federal government. Folks in my district do not feel safe, and this Congress should not fool itself into thinking it has done enough to make up for years of ignoring us.
"Whatever the politicians in Washington like to say publically, border security is national security, and our national security is still at risk. People on the ground know there's a problem. Stop-gaps and half measures can't be our Nation's long-term border security solution.
"I urge leadership to stand up and do what is right by Arizona families. We must act to strengthen our country's security at the U.S.-Mexico border as soon as possible, and we should start by ensuring that we hire more Border Patrol agents immediately by including additional agents in the FY 2011 omnibus appropriations bill."
The Congresswoman's measure would mean a 20 percent increase in USBP agents in the region, in addition to the 1,000 agents she has already successfully fought for.