Goddard Commends $600 Million Border Security Package But Says Stronger Effort Needed to Dismantle Drug Cartels

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- Aug. 13, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today applauded federal approval of a $600 million measure to increase border security, calling it a significant  step in the right direction. He added, however, that the Mexican border will never be made secure until the drug- and human-smuggling cartels based in Mexico are taken down. 

President Obama signed the $600 million bill into law this morning. It will increase both human and technological resources along the U.S.-Mexico border and fund the hiring of 1,000 new Border Patrol agents and more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The new law will also pay for more sophisticated communications equipment and expanded use of unmanned surveillance drones.  

"Our border cannot be made secure as long as the cartels are so deeply entrenched and well-funded," Goddard said. "As long as they remain powerful, rampant trafficking of drugs, humans, guns and money across our border will persist. I continue to urge the President and Congress to go after them with decisive, overwhelming and binational force." 

Bringing down the cartels, the Attorney General added, would substantially reduce illegal immigration because most illegal crossings are coordinated by the cartels and their network of armed escorts, scouts, intelligence and communications.

Goddard again called on the federal government to follow the recommendation in a recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to adopt investigative techniques developed by the Arizona Attorney General's Office to disrupt the flood of cash from wire transfers to the cartels. Blocking the flow of money is one sure way to weaken the cartels and make the border more secure, he said. 

For more information, contact Communications Director Steve Wilson at (602) 542-8351.