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article imagePredator drones set to patrol U.S. border with Mexico

By B. Thomas Cooper     Aug 31, 2010 in Crime
Phoenix - On September 1st, US border security takes a bold leap into the future, with the deployment of the unmanned Predator drone aircraft along the entire border region north of Mexico.
Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security announced the U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin flying Predator type B drones over Corpus Christi, Texas as soon as Wednesday. Two other drones are already patrolling regions over Arizona and California, with two more to be put into service before the year’s end.
Illegal immigration and drug trafficking from Mexico has become a hot-button issue for many, especially those along the border regions, where immigration and drug related violence is on the rise. For many, the drones are a welcome relief.
The announcement comes only days after the Obama administration began sending some fifteen-hundred National Guard troop to the border in an attempt to stem the flow of would be illegal immigrants into United States. Every year, thousands of illegal immigrants routinely take advantage of porous U.S.- Mexican border and the rugged surrounding terrain.
The Predator B drones will be able to patrol the entire border region, covering vast amounts of area, with the ability to detect unusual activities from great distances. The drones, along with the deployment of the National Guard troops is part of over $600 million dollars earmarked by the Obama administration for improving border security with the United States’ closest neighbor to the south.
During a conference call with the media, Janet Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, referred to the addition of the drones as “crucial”, adding "This is yet another critical step we have taken in ensuring the safety of the border and is an important tool in our security toolbox,"  Napolitano was appointed head of the Department of Homeland Security by President Barack Obama, becoming the first female in U.S. history to serve in that capacity.
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