January 25, 2005


2,000 new border agents aren't part of budget, Ridge says (Mimi Hall, 1/24/05, USA TODAY)

President Bush will not ask Congress for enough money to add 2,000 agents to patrol the nation's borders in his 2006 budget, even though he signed a bill last month authorizing the increase.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Monday that Bush's new budget, to be released in early February, will propose a "good incremental increase" in the number of agents. But he made it clear the number would not approach 2,000. The new agents were to be the first hires toward doubling the size of the force over five years.

As part of a sweeping intelligence bill passed in December, Congress called for nearly doubling the size of the Border Patrol by adding 10,000 agents over five years. The agency has about 11,000 agents; 90% work along the southern border with Mexico.

But in an interview with USA TODAY, Ridge scoffed at the notion of adding so many agents and said it would be an inefficient use of precious homeland security dollars.

"The notion that you're going to have 10,000 is sort of a fool's gold," Ridge said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2005 12:07 PM

Why do you characterize someone who wants to enforce U.S. law as a nativist?

What other U.S. laws do you support being violated?

Posted by: George at January 25, 2005 1:12 PM

The feds have been funding Operation Stone Guard since the end of October, where they're paying local and state law enforcment agencies along the border to assist Immigration and Border Patrol agents in their interdiction operations. That funding runs out on Monday, and as far as I know the DHS hasn't approprated any more funds to continue it, but judging by Ridge's comments it sounds like that may be the direction the government is headed twoards at this time.

Posted by: John at January 25, 2005 1:38 PM


The Fugitive Slave Act

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 1:47 PM

Executive Order 9066 too.

Posted by: Governor Breck at January 25, 2005 2:27 PM

"The Fugitive Slave Act"

Great, now you're against property rights and in favor of theft. What next? Soccer!

Posted by: h-man at January 25, 2005 3:28 PM

Without helping Mexico, and by extension, Central America with their underlying problem of having populations that grow too fast for their economies to absorb them, illegal immigration will continue no matter how many border guards we hire.

Of course, we could shoot everyone darker than Arnold Schwarzenegger who tries to sneak across the border but that wouldn't look good on cable TV.

The reality is that the illegals are decent desperate people not unlike the great waves of immigration into America in the 1880-1920 period.

Posted by: Bart at January 26, 2005 8:06 PM