Trent Lott, the U.S. Senator who will chair the U.S. Senate in the next Congress, has renewed calls for a militarization of the United States borders with Canada and Mexico.
Considering Lott’s influential position this is clearly a concern for parties interested in the efficient flow of goods across the U.S. border. However, so far Lott’s ideas don’t seem to be catching on with the majority of U.S. decision makers.
Congressman Silvestre Reyes, D- El Paso, issued the following statement in response to Senator Lott’s calls for bringing an end to the world’s longest undefended border:
"Armed military personnel patrolling our borders is dangerous, ill-advised, and detracts from the critical mission of the United States military. Rather than rush to place border communities under martial law, we must focus our efforts on hiring and training enough Border Patrol Agents and Customs Service Inspectors to efficiently protect and manage our borders," Reyes says. "Our men and women in uniform are deployed in 120 countries world-wide, and are preparing for a possible conflict with Iraq. It is inconceivable and irresponsible to heap another mission on the U.S. military that it neither wants, nor is trained for."
More importantly,Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s has also stated that the United States military "has no intention or plan of getting involved in INS or Customs or Border Patrol activities except on a very short time basis."