Homeland Security Deploys Predator Drone in Texas; With Texas Now Having One We Are Now Able To View The Entire Border Simultaneously

Homeland Security Deploys Predator in Texas

By Jim Fogarty
Epoch Times Staff

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will initiate Predator Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flights out of Corpus Christi, Texas, beginning on Wednesday, according to a DHS press release.
Flights will cover the Texas stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, which means that aerial surveillance of the entire border, from California to Texas, is now complete.

“With the deployment of the Predator in Texas, we will now be able to cover the Southwest border from the El Centro sector in California all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, providing critical aerial surveillance assistance to personnel on the ground,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano stated on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

The deployment comes just weeks after President Obama’s signing of the Southwest Border Security Bill, a supplement to the administration’s Southwest Border Initiative, which provides funding for beefing up border security, including the deployment of additional reconnaissance aircraft.
Obama sees the recent law as the latest step in securing communities of the Southwest, and a means to “strengthen our partnership with Mexico in targeting the gangs and criminal organizations that operate on both sides of our shared border.”

According to the DHS, the recent legislation provides “$600 million in new funding to enhance security technology at the border, share information, and support with state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and increase federal law enforcement activities at the border.”

Part of this technology funding includes biometric information systems, used to identify and remove “criminal aliens” from among detained illegal immigrants.

DHS information heralds the Obama administration’s expansion of such systems—part of the “Secure Communities” initiative—from 14 to 567 locations, including all Southwest border jurisdictions, and projects that biometric information systems will be deployed nationwide by 2013.

The ramp-up of law enforcement personnel is described as “the deployment of more agents, investigators, and prosecutors as part of a coordinated effort with states and cities to target illicit networks trafficking in people, drugs, illegal weapons, and money.”

This includes spending $176 million “for an additional 1,000 Border Patrol agents to be deployed between ports of entry,” as well as $68 million to hire 250 new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, and $6 million to construct two forward-operating bases along the Southwest border, to coordinate forward activities.

The Southwest Border Security Bill also allows for the president to deploy an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the border. Some began to arrive in Arizona this week.

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