Judson Berger, FoxNews(July 2012):
Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity — one soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, Calif., is outside Los Angeles. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.
“These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”
“It’s part of the systematic dismantling of both border and interior enforcement,” Dane told FoxNews.com. “It complements the non-enforcement policy of this administration.”
Detractors, though, say the changes are part of a pattern. The administration recently announced it would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have not committed a serious crime. And after the Supreme Court upheld one plank of Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law last month, federal officials said ICE would be selective in responding to calls about immigration status – prioritizing cases that meet certain criteria, like whether the suspect is wanted for a felony. . . . “The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t demonstrated that sending additional resources to the border will be a more efficient use of resources than maintaining a presence further north,” Neugebauer said. “I’d like to see numbers that reassure me that this strategy change won’t ultimately result in fewer arrests.”