YUMA, Ariz. (KSWT News 13) - With the nation's looming deadline to stop massive automatic budget cuts, Yuma and the Imperial Valley have a lot at stake because of the military and U.S. Mexico border security.
KSWT News 13 called the Yuma Sector Border Patrol, but they are prohibited from talking about budget cuts.
However, here is what we do know: If sequestration does occur, it would be both disruptive and destructive to the department of homeland security directly impacting the number of agents patrolling along our borders.
Right now, politicians point to Yuma as an example of being under "operational control."
That's because the Yuma sector reports less than 10,000 arrests each year.
Politicians in part credit more than 900 agents plus double and triple layered fencing for declaring Yuma a relatively secured border.
Right now, the Department of Homeland Security would not say how many agents jobs would be eliminated from the Yuma sector.
In a statement released Monday, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano says eliminating 5,000 agents would have a huge negative impact on border security gains made over the last several years.
Napolitano said in a press conference, "Look, I don't think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester as without sequester. What we're going to do and are doing everything we can within the limit sequester gives us, but, as I was mentioning earlier, if you have 5,000 fewer border patrol hours or agents you have 5,000 fewer border patrol agents. That has a real impact."
Aside from cutting 5,000 Border Patrol agents from its front line of defense, Homeland Security would also be forced to eliminate 2,750 Customs and Border Protection agents, which could mean longer wait times at crossing points like Calexico and Mexicali.
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