Senators Watch as Border Patrol Agents Catch Illegal Immigrant
A group of U.S. senators pressing for immigration reform got to see some real-life border security in Arizona on Thursday.
As the senators toured the border in Nogales they witnessed a young woman sprint from the Mexico side and climb the fence before being caught by Border Patrol officers.
The incident happened as the senators chatted to Customs and Border Patrol officials, just yards from where they were standing.
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Arizona Sen. John McCain tweeted afterwards: "Just witnessed a woman successfully climb an 18-ft bollard fence a few yards from us in Nogales. And Border Patrol successfully apprehended her, but incident is another reminder that threats to our border security are real."
Mr. McCain was accompanied by fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, along with Democrats Sen. Charles Schumer, from New York, and Sen.. Michael Bennet, from Colorado. They are one half of the so-called "Gang of Eight" that is currently working on solutions to the immigration issues.
At a news conference afterwards, Mr. McCain added: "One of the sad things about all of this is that most of those people who jump over the fence are doing that because they want a better life. And I understand that. So we separate the drug cartels from individuals or somebody trying to cross over so they improve their lives."
With 22,000 agents, the Border Patrol is now better staffed than ever, covering 651 miles of fence along the 1,969-mile-long border. Their work on the ground is assisted by six drones and 125 airplanes.
According to ABC News, apprehensions are down 78 percent from their peak in 2000.
President Obama said on Thursday that he believes the border is now secure enough to move forward with immigration reforms.
"It's never going to be 110 per cent perfect, but what we can do is to continue to improve it and, at the same time, provide a clear pathway for those who are already here and who've invested their lives here," he said.
Border security will be the focus of IDGA’s 4thAnnual Border Management Southwest conference in Tuscon, Arizona, in May. Among the speakers are Sen. Robert Meza, who sits on the Border Security Committee and Elizabeth Kempshall, from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
For more details about the event, go to www.bordersouthwest.com