DHS border security plan contains millions for technology

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a plan today to spend more than $100 million for technology to help stop the growing drug-related violence near the border between the United States and Mexico.

DHS' effort is part of a larger plan the Obama administration announced today to deal with the problem. The interagency effort will be coordinated through the National Security and Homeland Security councils, the administration said. 

Drug–related violence in Mexico has escalated, creating fears that it could spill over into the United States. Authorities have also become focused on stopping the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico.  

DHS said the program would cost as much as $184 million, with technology components totaling more than $100 million.

The technology aspects of the plan include:

  • Enhancing the deployment of biometric identification equipment at locations with the highest risk for violence committed by criminals who are not U.S. citizens.
  • Screening 100 percent of southbound rail traffic by using nonintrusive inspection equipment.
  • Moving additional mobile X-ray units to the border to detect anomalies in passenger vehicles.
  • Deploying upgraded license plate readers to identify suspected smugglers’ vehicles.

Department officials also said the program would focus on better coordination with state, local and Mexican law enforcement authorities.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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