Sunday, October 14, 2007

Secure The Border(s) - It's Worth the Wait

W. Ralph Basham, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, says it's worth the wait to secure the border. In his article, Secure Border is Worth the Wait, Mr. Basham makes the following claim.
But any way you look at it, a safer, more secure border is well worth the investment and the wait.
That line is the final line from Mr. Basham's article. The beginning of states the following key points.
  • All vehicles are now being scanned for radiation and;
  • In fiscal 2007, 270 people with known terrorists ties were identified attempting to enter the country.
If 270 people with Known Terrorist Ties were prevented from entering the country at the border, how many more crossed without being detected? The potential damage inflicted by 19 Terrorists on September 11, 2001 indicates what can be done by those with an evil purpose.

In many instances, increased border enforcement will inconvenience some legal entrants, but it is obviously preferable to the alternative.
To keep bad people and bad things from entering America, at a minimum we scan all vehicles for radiation and check all individuals for proper documents. This process is not a bureaucratic game, but a security imperative. At our 99 land ports of entry, we processed just under 300 million people last year. We spend approximately 45-60 seconds with each person at the primary inspection booth, where we check for terror watchlist matches, outstanding criminal warrants, public health and narcotics lookouts and other indications of risk. Those who present some concern and require additional scrutiny are then referred for secondary inspection.
From this article we learn that 300 million people were screened, and now the results that Mr. Basham says make it worth the wait.
This process has yielded approximately 25,000 arrests during the 2007 fiscal year that just ended, a 10 percent increase over the previous year and a two-thirds increase from the launch of DHS in 2003. Keep in mind that these arrests are more than just a number; they represent the capture of murders, drug dealers, child molesters and potential terrorists. We’ve kept 300 tons of marijuana from entering the U.S. through the ports, as well as 93,000 pounds of cocaine. Last year we encountered 270 people suspected of having terrorist ties.
I believe we need to be aggressive in enforcing our border security for many reasons. This is one of them and is reason enough for Congress to Fund, Build and Staff the Border, Both of them.

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