Mueller: Southwest border security a balancing act

| Thursday, September 11, 2003

FBI Director Robert Mueller said Sept. 8 that the United States faces a challenging balancing act on its southwest border with Mexico while both countries try to promote beneficial trade and easy immigrant pass-through while filtering out potential terror threats, The Associated Press reported.

Mueller mentioned the second anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to reiterate the continuing risks posed by al-Qaida and others.

"Al-Qaida keeps adapting," he told U.S. and Mexican border protection and anti-terrorism officials. "If we harden one target, it goes after another. ... Our collective efforts here in the Southwest cannot be understated."

Mueller said terrorists "may well be operationally ready to slip across our borders in ways we have not seen."

An estimated 8 million to 10 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States, with more than 500,000 of them in Texas.

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