I’m sure many noticed this in Bush’s speech (which I’m just checking out now):
Since I became President, we’ve increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents…By the end of 2008, we’ll increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000.
Impressive, no? That will be a total of an additional 9,000 new Border Patrol personnel.
But wait. Murdoc just happened to notice this little tidbit in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004:
SEC. 5202. INCREASE IN FULL-TIME BORDER PATROL AGENTS.
In each of the fiscal years 2006 through 2010, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, subject to the availability of appropriations for such purpose, increase by not less than 2,000 the number of positions for full-time active-duty border patrol agents within the Department of Homeland Security above the number of such positions for which funds were allotted for the preceding fiscal year. In each of the fiscal years 2006 through 2010, in addition to the border patrol agents assigned along the northern border of the United States during the previous fiscal year, the Secretary shall assign a number of border patrol agents equal to not less than 20 percent of the net increase in border patrol agents during each such fiscal year. [emphasis Murdoc’s]
So an increase of this magnitude was required by law in the wake of 9/11. Of the 2,000 required in 2006, the first of the five years specified in the legislation, how many were included in the budget?
The President’s announcement of his “call” to Congress to approve “dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border” is nothing but a repeat of what was called for in late 2004.
Will we see anything substantial this time?