Napolitano Touts Doubling Border Patrol Agents Nationwide, But New Hires Doubled Before She Took Office

By Melanie Arter | September 20, 2012 | 5:26 PM EDT

Border Patrol patch (AP Photo)

( Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that her department has more than doubled the number of Border Patrol agents nationwide from 10,000 in 2004 to more than 21,000 in 2012, but the majority of those new hires took place during the Bush administration.

“We have increased the number of Border Patrol agents nationwide from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 21,000 today with nearly 18,500 “boots on the ground” along the Southwest border,” Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

However, the number of agents was already over 20,000 at the end of FY 2009, the same year that President Barack Obama took office.

“Since 1924, the Border Patrol has grown from a handful of mounted agents patrolling desolate areas along U.S. borders to today’s dynamic work force of over 20,000 agents at the end of FY 2009,” a Border Patrol overview on the CBP Web site states.

This isn’t the first time the Obama administration tried to take credit for doubling the number of CBP officers.

In a May 10, 2011 speech, Obama said: “Under Secretary Napolitano’s leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible. They wanted more agents on the border. Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history. The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents – more than twice as many as there were in 2004, a buildup that began under President Bush, and that we have continued.”

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