Guest Post by Mara Zebest
Hat Tip WZ: WTF News: The good news is that Obama is finally talking about protecting the southern border; the bad news is he’s referring to Mexico’s southern border—not the U.S.
U.S. taxpayers picking up the tab with the usual lack of administration transparency.
FreeBeacon reports the following:
Obama administration and Mexican government officials recently discussed creating a three-tier security system designed to protect Mexico’s southern border from drug and human traffickers, according to U.S. officials.
The border control plan calls for U.S. funding and technical support of three security lines extending more than 100 miles north of Mexico’s border with Guatemala and Belize. The border security system would use sensors and intelligence-gathering to counter human trafficking and drug running from the region, a major source of illegal immigration into the United States.
According to the officials who discussed the U.S.-Mexican talks on condition of anonymity, the Mexican government proposed setting up three security cordons using electronic sensors and other security measures along the southern Mexican border, along a line some 20 miles from the southern border, and along a third security line about 140 miles from the southern Mexican territorial line.
The plan would be funded in part through the Merida Initiative, a U.S.-led anti-drug trafficking program that has involved nearly $2 billion in U.S. funds.
Border security was a major topic during the visit to Mexico last month by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin.
Napolitano made no mention of the southern border protection plan after her visit.
“The United States and Mexico have taken unprecedented steps in recent years to deepen our cooperation along our shared border,” she said in a July 23 statement.
During the visit, Napolitano signed an agreement on border security communications aimed at improving responses to border violence. In April, another agreement was signed to improve U.S. Border Patrol and Mexican Federal Police law enforcement coordination along the U.S.-Mexican border.
A DHS spokesman would not say if southern Mexico border security was discussed during the recent Napolitano visit. He referred questions about the three-tier border security system to the White House.
A White House spokeswoman had no comment and referred questions to DHS and the State Department. A State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
Mexican Embassy spokesman Ariel Moutsatsos declined to comment.
The plan apparently is being kept secret within the administration over concerns that disclosure would fuel Republican critics of the administration’s record on border security.
Asked to comment on the southern Mexico border security plan, Rep. Ted Poe (R., Texas), a senior member of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on immigration, said he opposes the effort.
“We need to take care of the United States first when it comes to border security,” he told the Free Beacon. “The United States seems to be very concerned about protecting the border of other nations and needs to be more concerned about protecting our own border.”
Poe also said that at a time of fiscal austerity, “We should be spending funds on border security and national security in the United States.”
“Mexico has a problem, obviously, but it is their responsibility to protect the sovereignty of their borders and it is our responsibility to protect the sovereignty of our border,” he said. [...]
Read more here.