Homeland’s Napolitano Says Crime and Illegal Crossings at Border Down
Despite the contentious political rhetoric, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said crime and illegal crossings along the Mexico-U.S. border have dropped sharply. She attributed the change to an intensified focus on border enforcement and a “smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws.”
“We have strengthened the Southwest border in a way that many would not have thought possible,” Napolitano said in a speech at the University of Texas in El Paso on Monday. “And our partnership with Mexico on border security is strong.
“That’s not to say we still don’t face challenges. We are deeply concerned about the drug cartel violence taking place in Mexico. We know that these drug organizations are seeking to undermine the rule of law in Northern Mexico and that we must guard against spillover effects into the United States.
“Nonetheless, it is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control. This statement—often made only to score political points—is just plain wrong.”
She also said that violent crimes in Southwest border counties have dropped by more than 30 percent “and are currently among the lowest in the Nation per capita.”
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