President Barack Obama has signed into law a $600 million border security that will put more agents and equipment along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Obama signed the bill in the Oval Office Friday alongside Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The measure will fund the hiring of 1,000 new Border Patrol agents to be deployed at critical areas along the border, as well as more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
An additional 250 Immigration and Customs Enforcment agents and 250 Customs and Border Protections officer will be hired to help at the border.
It also provides for new communications equipment and greater use of unmanned surveillance drones.
Local residents such as nationalized citizen George Hay said more needs to be done. Hours after the signing Hay said, “It’s pretty bad in Arizona, Texas and we know how bad it is in California. It’s those druggies that are giving us a bad time down there.”
Some Republicans, including Arizona Sen. John McCain, said that while the legislation is a start, it falls short by not dramatically increasing the number of customs inspectors along the border and not funding a program that charges illegal immigrants with a low-level crime.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “This is a long-term systematic effort to defeat the cartels and continue to secure the border.”
La Quinta resident Sue Farris is looking for total immigration reform. Farris said, “There’s more to it than tiny changes, it needs to be totally redone. Is there abuse? (of the system) No doubt. We just need to reform it and do it right.”
It’s unclear how much of the money will be used for Riverside County Border Patrol Operations. Right now 1,200 agents patrol Indio, Riverside, El Centro and Calexico. They are responsible for 70 miles of linear border. The new 1,500 agents will soon be placed at strategic points along the more than 1,900 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.