WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Border security requires a sustained effort, not a push that fades away when the situation turns around, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.
"One of the things that has happened in the past in the border is you would get a surge of effort for a few months or what have you, and then once the numbers started to turn around, the manpower would be withdrawn or the technology would be shifted around," Napolitano told the El Paso Times in an interview published Thursday.
Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, noted local border law enforcement officials at a roundtable discussion in Washington Wednesday said border security "requires continued, sustained involvement and true partnership between federal agents and local police officers and sheriff's deputies."
The roundtable stressed the Obama administration's efforts to boost border security and facilitate legitimate trade with Mexico and its commitment to working with federal, state and local officials to do so, Napolitano told the Times in the telephone interview.
Electioneering tends to focus on border security and illegal immigration, pushing border commerce to the background, she said.
"Yes, it can be drowned out during a political year, but for those of us who know the border, who've lived on the border, it's just a clarion call to us to speak even more affirmatively about that area of the country and what's been going on there and give a more honest impression," said Napolitano.
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