Homeland Security: US Border not Controlled!

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Tuesday that securing the border is a big challenge for the government.

“We are not in control,” said Chertoff, who toured the El Paso border region.

Chertoff said immigration policy should incorporate undocumented immigrants who contribute to the U.S. economy “into a system that is legal and regulated,” so law enforcement can focus more on known security threats. “The border is a dangerous place,” and patrolling it is best left up to law enforcement officers. Chertoff said he was unaware the Minutemen had spent a month in the El Paso region.

Chertoff was joined by Johnny Sutton – U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas; David Aguilar, the national chief of Customs and Border Protection-Border Patrol; and El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego.

Samaniego said he wished Chertoff had seen how porous the border is in areas like Tornillo, in the southeast end of the county, where large numbers of undocumented immigrants are reportedly entering the US.

East El Paso resident and US Military veteran, Salvador Gomez, went to Tom Lea Park to hear what Chertoff had to say about border security and immigration. “The violation of federal law, any law, must be met with consequences and not rewarded,” Gomez said, referring to immigration violations. “The law of the land must prevail in the interest of our national security.”

Chertoff praised the way local law enforcement agencies collaborate, and “the combination of technology, infrastructure and personnel” they use to secure the border.

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