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Feds batten down border finally; thank you, Janet

Citizen Staff Writer
Our Opinion

Help for our violence-wracked border with Mexico finally is on the way, thanks to President Obama and, especially, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.

Arizona’s former governor has fought for stronger border protections for years, and her appointment to Homeland Security in January presaged the long-overdue action announced Tuesday by Obama.

Murderous gunbattles, beheadings and attacks on law officers have exploded along our border, enabled by decades of federal neglect.

Now, the president said, more than 360 officers and agents from several agencies will be deployed to the border, with more biometric-ID technology, mobile X-ray units, upgraded license plate readers and inspection equipment to screen rail traffic into Mexico.

As the drugs flow north, weapons and cash are flowing south. Both flows must be blocked.

And this “very robust” addition of forces is merely “the first wave of things that will be happening,” Napolitano said.

Along with the beefed-up enforcement, Obama also promised more collaboration and information-sharing with Mexican authorities and a renewed U.S. commitment to address our nation’s demand for illegal drugs.

We hope that means more opportunities for rehabilitation of drug addicts, more programs to prevent drug experimentation by our youth and more money for local law enforcement agencies.

The seemingly ubiquitous methamphetamine rings spreading across our nation mark a particularly pernicious trend, as meth is especially addictive.

Local law enforcement needs extra funding to combat that problem at home, while beefed-up border forces should help to stanch the flow of meth northward from Mexican factories.

This serious attention to our southern border is long overdue, as residents of Arizona and every other border state know all too well.

The security forces clearly come at Napolitano’s request, supported by southern Arizona’s U.S. Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, among others in Congress.

Now Gov. Jan Brewer, along with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, want the federal government to also deploy more National Guard troops to protect the border.

Like many, we once opposed the use of such troops, deeming it excessive militarization of the border.

But the border no longer is merely the passage point for impoverished migrants seeking work. It has been overrun with narco-trafficking, gun smugglers and coyotes, with rapes, kidnappings and murders marking their prominence.

At this juncture, the more security forces our government can send, the better off we all will be.

Our Opinion

The border no longer is a passage point for migrants seeking work. It now is a lawless, and violent zone.

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