BUSH PROPOSES ‘SMART BORDER’ PLAN WITH MEXICO
President Bush has proposed a new plan with Mexican President Vicente Fox to secure the U.S./Mexico border while speeding the flow of people and commerce.
In this plan, Bush called for deploying technology to ensure a “smart and secure” between the United States and Mexico.
The agreement, reached by the two countries, would combine the intelligence efforts of government agencies of the two neighbors. Sections of the 22-point “smart border plan” would include the use of electronic passes for those who make frequent crossings, increased infrastructure protection, and the synchronization of hours of operation at border crossing sites to enhance cross-border cooperation.
The 1,951-mile border is the busiest in the world. Since the implementation of the North American Free-Trade Agreement, the number of commercial vehicles crossing the border has increased 41 percent.
Bush said he sought a border management system that would screen goods and people to the maximum extent possible. In the 2003 Budget, Bush has proposed for approximately $11 billion for increased border security, including $380 million for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to construct a new Entry-Exit system.