Arizona’s 350-mile border with Mexico will be the most heavily patrolled stretch in the nation under a federal plan that will be announced today in Tucson, The Arizona Republic repots.
The effort, dubbed the Arizona Border Control Initiative, will add 260 Border Patrol agents, four helicopters and several aircraft in the next few months in a multiagency effort to control the flow of illegal immigration through the state and reduce migrant deaths in the desert.
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman would not rule out the possibility that for the first time the federal government might deploy unmanned drones over the border, like those developed for use by the military.
The number of apprehensions in Arizona, more than 400,000 last year, “points up that the Arizona border is the greatest challenge we face in terms of controlling our borders,” said Asa Hutchinson, Department of Homeland Security undersecretary for border and transportation security. Last year, Arizona agents accounted for nearly 40 percent of all undocumented immigrants apprehensions in the country.
Hutchinson said the plan will dovetail with increased efforts by the federal government to crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
He will announce details of the initiative today at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.