Obama Shuts Down Aerial Surveillence Over Southern Border

 In Domestic, opinion, Politics

In spite of FULL 2017 funding for the aerial surveillance program at the US southern border, the Department of Homeland Security “quietly” shut it down.

“Operation Phalanx” was intended to interdict drugs and illegals coming across the border. It utilized UH-72 Lakota National Guard helicopters to watch the border.

“The Army National Guard (ARNG) established Operation Phalanx in July 2010, based on an Executive Order from President Obama authorizing up to 1,200 Soldiers and Airmen along the 1,933-mile southwest border in support of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency.” US Army National Guard

[Interestingly, President Bush’s version was called Operation Jump Start and authorized 6,000 soldiers. Tells you the priorities.]

The DHS began scaling back the operation to 50% in January, which drew the ire of Texas authorities.

“Any decrease in aerial observation is not only imprudent, but contradicts the very mission of border security enforcement. In order to ensure we are doing everything possible to effectively secure the border, we request immediate information on the metrics used to determine that a 50 percent reduction in aerial resources would be sufficient to support this important border security operation.” Letter from Gov Abbott and Rep Henry Cuellar to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

That was in January. Now it’s completely shut down.  Rep. Cuellar is now working the halls of Congress for allies to help undo the damage. Congress has already funded the program for 2017.

Watchdog.org stated that the DHS asserted that the number of illegals had diminished and that’s why the program was shut down. But that’s not true.

“But U.S. Border Patrol reports show that apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley rose 27 percent in fiscal 2016 versus fiscal 2015.

In the smaller Laredo sector, Operation Phalanx accounted for 10,559 apprehensions and 4,007 “turnbacks” from March 2012 to December 2015. Phalanx was credited with seizing 12,851 pounds of narcotics during the period.”

The National Guard will remain at the border, according to Texas Governor Abbott. The most dangerous weeks in America are the ones remaining in Obama’s term as President.

 

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