Funds Offered For Border Fence
About 1,700 new U.S. border patrol agents are expected to be hired and trained by September 2006, adding their numbers to the 11,268 agents who were already on the job as of the end of September 2005.
Roughly 220 of the new agents will work in the San Diego sector. Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar says five miles of secondary border fence south of San Diego still needs to be constructed and that a $35 million federal budget allocation should cover most, but not all, of the costs of construction.
The completion of the fence will require a canyon dubbed Smuggler’s Gulch to be filled in with about 2 million cubic yards of earth.
U.S. officials say the fence is needed to protect the security of the border and the safety of border agents, but environmentalist groups are opposing the move, claiming that the project could destroy the Tijuana River wetlands. The 5-mile fence project will also include surveillance cameras, stadium-style lighting, access roads, and grading.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the San Diego Union-Tribune (12/07/05); Berestein, Leslie.