Bush to ask for $2.1 billion more for border security

| 1/29/2002

President Bush said Jan. 25 he will ask Congress to spend about $11 billion next year on securing the nation's borders to keep out terrorists who would try to attack the United States. The money will be used to hire border patrol agents, and track foreign nationals, especially those who enter the country on student visas.

The intended plans were announced in a speech delivered when the president visited Portland, ME, on Friday to announce plans to seek $10.7 billion in next year's budget for border security, an increase of $2.1 billion over this year.

The border security funds are part of a $38 billion homeland security package that Bush announced Thursday. The money will be used to create "a seamless air, land and sea border" that weeds out terrorist threats without clogging the free flow of goods and people between countries, the White House said.

Bush also will seek a $1.2 billion increase for the Immigration and Naturalization Service for more agents and inspectors on the border with Canada. Customs services said Thursday it may change the way it inspects vehicles at borders. The changes might include a pre-inspection at the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel. The INS also may launch a high-tech tracking system to monitor arrivals and departures by non-U.S. citizens.