'The Numbers Tell the Story' Says Napolitano About Increased Border Security

By Ruxandra Guidi
October 18, 2010

Photo by Ruxandra Guidi
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visits the San Ysidro Port of Entry for a tour and press conference.

SAN DIEGO -- The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, visited the San Ysidro Port of Entry Monday. The tour was part of the Obama Administration's effort to be seen as tough on border security.

Standing next to traffic coming into the U.S. from Mexico, Napolitano said more Border Patrol agents and 1,200 new National Guard troops are having an effect on security.

"The numbers tell the story," said Napolitano. "When you look at the numbers for this administration, every number that is supposed to be going up is going up, and every number that is supposed to be going down is going down," she said. "Over the last two years, the Department of Homeland Security has seized significantly more drugs, currency and weapons than during the last two years of the previous administration."

Napolitano said the Border Patrol made more than 460,000 arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border since September 2009. That’s the fifth year in a row of declining arrests.

"The manpower, the technology, the infrastructure all has enabled us to be able to really slow that flow of illegal immigrant traffic," she said.

But faced with a question about the reason for the most recent drop in arrests, she said a weak economy may be as important a factor as increased border security. That's because in the last two years, fewer undocumented immigrants have been crossing into the U.S. to begin with.