(CNSNews.com) – Despite Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s assertion that “the border is better now than it ever has been,” the union representing U.S. Border Patrol agents said her comments are “wrong and give citizens a false sense of security.”
The National Border Patrol Council pointed to the murders of three agents in a statement issued last Friday.
Napolitano, speaking a border crossing in El Paso, Texas last week, said, “There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been. That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.”
Napolitano also rejected claims that the violence in Mexico has spilled over to bordering U.S. cities. Violent crime rates have remained flat or decreased in border communities in the Southwest, she said.
But the National Border Patrol Council isn’t buying it.
“The violence that has occurred along the border in recent years shows that crime indeed is spilling over from Mexico,” the NBPC statement said. “Three Border Patrol agents have been murdered by the cartels in the last three years, ranchers and citizens have been gunned down in border communities, and the Phoenix area has risen to become a cartel related crime hotspot.”
The most recent murder was that of Brian Terry in December near the border in Rio Rico, Ariz.
“If the border was better now than it has ever been, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry would not have been brutally murdered by heavily armed Mexican criminals operating over 13 miles inside the United States,” the NPBC statement said. “In some countries that is construed as an act of war.”
The statement says the U.S. is playing “political games” out of “fear of insulting the government of Mexico.”
“U.S. citizens are being kidnapped and killed while our Border Patrol agents fight a war at home that no one will allow them to win,” the statement continued. “Not one more Border Patrol agent should fall or citizen be victimized because our government fails to act. Mexico is hemorrhaging violence and we are being hit with the splatter.”
In El Past last week, Napolitano said the Department of Homeland Security will deploy 250 more border agents and expects to have 300 more if its Fiscal 2012 budget request is approved. She noted that the total value of imports crossing the Southwest border was up 22 percent in fiscal year 2010. Further, she said there was a reduction of 36 percent in the number of illegal immigrant detentions.
“Numbers are in the right direction and dramatically so,” she said.