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How Will $600 Million Border Bill Impact San Diego?

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWK08FmrQz4

Video published August 20, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: What's being done to combat illegal immigrant smuggling operations along the border? Reporter Amy Isackson sits down with CBP Commissioner to talk about the latest efforts to create more stability along the border.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

PRESIDENT OBAMA RECENTLY SIGNED INTO LAW A $600 MILLION BILL TO INCREASE SECURITY ALONG THE U.S./MEXICO. WE SAT DOWN WITH CONGRESSMAN BURSON TO DISCUSS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE BORDER SECURITY BILL, HOW IT WILL IMPACT OUR REGION. MR. BURSON, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US.

GOOD TO BE HERE. THANKS, AMY.

WHAT NEW SECURITY RESOURCES WILL COME TO CALIFORNIA'S U.S./MEXICO BORDER?

THE SUPPLEMENTAL BILL THAT THE PRESIDENT SIGNS INTO LAW PROVIDES FOR A THOUSAND NEW BORDER PATROL AGENTS, 250 MORE OFFICERS AT THE PORTS OF ENTRY, AND 150, ICE AGENTS IN ADDITION TO OTHER DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PERSONNEL?

AND DO WE KNOW SPECIFICALLY TO CALIFORNIA?

THERE HAVE BEEN NO ALLEGATIONS AS YET, BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE BORDER, WHILE IT'S SECURE AND SAFER THAN IT'S EVER BEEN FROM SAN DIEGO TO BROWNSVILLE, IN FACT, IN THE CALIFORNIA SECTOR IN EL CENTRO, WE SEE GREATER STABILITITY, SO I WOULD EXPECT THAT THE TUCSON SECTOR, ARIZONA IS WHERE WE WILL SEE THE INITIAL DEPLOYMENT. HAVING SAID THAT, WHAT WE'RE INTENDING TO DO WITH THESE NEW RESOURCES IS TO BUILD IN A NEW AGILITY, FLEXIBILITY, SO THAT, IN FACT, WE CAN RESPOND AS THERE ARE DISPOLICE DEPARTMENTS OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. WE CAN ACTUALLY REACT RATHER THAN FIND OUR RESOURCES STUCK IN ONE SECTOR OR ANOTHER.

WHEN YOU SAY "THE BORDER IS AS SECURE AS IT'S EVER BEEN," WHY SPEND $60 MILLION NOW ON BORDER SECURITY?

THIS IS A WORK IN PROCESS, NOT A SNAPSHOT, BUT RATHER A MOTION PICTURE. SO YES, MEASURED BY CRIME STATISTICS, FBI CRIME STATISTICS, THE FOUR SAFEST CITIES IN AMERICA, SAN DIEGO, EL PASO, AUSTIN AND PHOENIX ARE IN BORDER STATES, AND IN FACT, ALL ALONG THE BORDER MEASURED BY CRIME STATISTICS, WE SEE, NOTWITHSTANDING INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE, WE SEE SOME OF THE SAFEST TOWNS AND CITIES IN AMERICA. AGAIN, HAVING SAID THAT, IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE DON'T CONTINUE TO FACE THE NEED TO STRENGTHEN THE BORDER, PARTICULARLY IN THOSE AREAS WHERE WE SEE CONTINUED ILLEGAL FLOWS. SO WE ARE SAFER AND MORE SECURE THAN WE'VE EVER BEEN, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE DON'T HAVE A FAIR AMOUNT OF WORK TO DO. AND THIS STEP BY THE PRESIDENT IS ONE IN A SERIES THAT HE'S TAKEN THAT HAS BUILT ON PREVIOUS EFFORTS TO BUILD A SECURE SOUTHWEST BORDER FOR THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO.

WHAT IS SAFE ENOUGH ON THE BORDER, AND HOW DO YOU MEASURE THAT?

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE IN TERMS OF CRIME STATISTICS IS WHAT WE HAVE SEEN, AND WE WANT TO SUSTAIN THAT AND EVEN DRIVE THE CRIME FIGURES.

WE WANT THOSE EXTENDED INTO PLACES WHERE WE CONTINUE TO SEE ILLEGAL FLOWS THAT ARE DISRUPTIVE TO THE COMMUNITY THAT CREATE PERCEPTIONS OF LACK OF CONTROL AND INSTABILITITY. FOR THE MOST PART THAT'S NOW IN TUCSON, IN THE TUCSON SECTOR FROM SENORA TO KNOW GAL I WAS, ARIZONA, ACROSS THE BORDER IN TUCSON AND PHOENIX. WE NEED TO BRING THAT SECTOR UNDER CONTROL, AND THEN SUSTAIN IT FROM SAN DIEGO.

TURNING TO MEXICO AND THE DRUG WAR, YOU'VE BEEN AN ARDENT SUPPORTER IN THE U.S. COOPERATION. IT APPEARS THE PRESIDENT OF MEXICO IS REASSESSING HIS STRATEGY AND TALK OF LEGALIZING DRUGS IN MEXICO. WHAT DOES THAT DO TO U.S. COOPERATION IN MEXICO WITH THIS JOINT WAR?

WE WILL CONTINUE TO SHARE A NATIONAL SECURITY INTEREST IN BRINGING DOWN THE LEVELS OF VIOLENCE IN MEXICO AND CONFRONTING ORGANIZED CRIMINAL SYNDICATES IN MEXICO; AND YES, I THINK THE SPIKES IN VIOLENCE THAT WE HAVE SEEN NOT ONLY IN JUAREZ, BUT IN WE HAVE HAVE A LEON HAVE LED AUTHORITIES TO REASSESS WHAT STRATEGY THEY ARE FOLLOWING. . BUT I DON'T SEE A DEPARTURE FROM THE HISTORIC DECISION TO CONFRONT ORGANIZED CRIME; AND WHETHER OR NOT THERE IS CHANGE IN ADMINISTRATION, I EXPECT THAT WE'VE SEEN A HISTORIC DECISION ON THE PART OF THE MEXICAN PEOPLE AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF MEXICAN DEMOCRACY TO FIND MAFIA CONTROL OVER THE POLITICAL SYSTEM, WHETHER AT THE LOCAL LEVEL OR THE FEDERAL LEVEL, TO BE UNACCEPTABLE. I DON'T EXPECT THAT WE WILL SEE MUCH OF A CHANGE IN TERMS OF THAT COMMITMENT, WHICH IS THE IMPORTANT POINT, I THINK, FOR OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MEXICO

Comments

Avatar for user 'Frankie'

Frankie | August 23, 2010 at 11:24 a.m. ― 4 years ago

I have (almost) never heard so much doubletalk -- unless it was when this guy was running the local public schools into the ground and enjoying an absolutely uncritical press. Does Amy Isaacson babysit? Does she do windows?

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