Mexican madness

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04/02/2009

I start out every morning listening to Internet radio streams of the news (often WBUR, the NPR station out of Boston, just because). I'm always surprised at how many segments pique my security interest. One was a piece about the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's visit yesterday to San Diego’s Otay Mesa Port of Entry. While there she announced more than $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for Otay Mesa (and I'm pretty sure she's far too serious to recognize April Fools, so Otay Mesa can probably start planning to use that money).

Here's more about funds for border security from the DHS press release:
DHS and the General Services Administration will direct more than $400 million in ARRA funding to the Southwest border, including $269 million for port and other infrastructure projects in Otay Mesa, Antelope Wells, N.M., Los Ebanos, Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona. $42 million will go toward Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment (NIIE) at Southwest border ports of entry, including both low energy and large-scale systems—big enough to scan tractor-trailers. Secretary Napolitano also announced $50 million in SBInet funding to accelerate deployment of surveillance technology and associated command and control technologies in Arizona, including deployment in Nogales and Sonoita stations, and $50 million to pay for tactical communications modernization for the El Paso and Rio Grande Valley Sectors.

In general, I can't believe how many news reports I read about Mexico these days. I know Mexico is certainly a security threat, but it's been a security threat for years. I can't tell if things have truly gotten worse there or if the mainstream news media has once again jumped on the sensationalist bandwagon. It all started with that 60 Minutes piece by Anderson Cooper. Oh, that Anderson, he knows how to mix reporting with a healthy dose of sensationalism. Anyway, I guess what matters is that all this attention leads to continued efforts to secure our borders (and leads to more than just putting up a really, really big expensive fence).