Thursday, June 4, 2009

Southwest Border Security Task Force Meets at Sandia National Labs

One day before U.S. Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder unveil their 2009 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy, at UNM, in Albuquerque, I sat down, at breakfast (in the downtown Hyatt) with U.S. Border Czar Alan Bersin and former C.I.A. and F.B.I. Director William Webster to discuss security, immigration, drug violence and bi national trade cooperation along the border with Mexico.

On Thursday, the men are hosting a border task force meeting at Sandia National Labs. Listen to their view on the crisis at the border here.

Bersin, was appointed to his post, in the Obama administration, by Napolitano on April 15th. He also served as the first unofficial Border Czar in 1995. A former San Diego school's superintendent and federal prosecutor, Bersin advocated for tougher immigration laws and was the public face of Operation Gatekeeper during the Clinton administration from 1995 to 1998. Clinton's Attorney General Janet Reno picked Albuquerque’s John J. Kelly, also a federal prosecutor, to replace Bersin in 1998.

While she's in Albuquerque, Secretary Napolitano will also swear in new members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). Comprised of national security experts from state, local and tribal governments, first responder communities, academia and the private sector, HSAC provides advice and recommendations directly to Secretary Napolitano on homeland security issues.

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