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US names ‘border czar’ to watch Mexican border

April 16, 2009
AP
4/15/2009

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano named a former federal prosecutor Wednesday to the new post of “border czar” to oversee efforts to end drug-cartel violence along the U.S.-Mexico border and slow the tide of people crossing illegally into the United States.

Napolitano named Alan Bersin, a former Justice Department official who was charged with cracking down on illegal immigration in the 1990s, to fill the post at the Homeland Security Department.

“Alan brings years of vital experience with local, state and international partners to help us meet the challenges we face at our borders,” Napolitano said in a statement. “He will lead the effort to make our borders safe while working to promote commerce and trade.”

Napolitano was to hold a news conference introducing Bersin on a bridge over the Rio Grande linking El Paso with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city plagued by violence among drug cartels and Mexican authorities that has killed more than 10,650 people since December 2006.

The Obama administration has promised to target border violence and work with Mexican authorities to curb drugs and arms trafficking. Hundreds of federal agents, along with high-tech surveillance gear and drug-sniffing dogs, are being deployed to the Southwest.

The story continues …..

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