Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Collins Applauds Increased Border Patrol Guards

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) today applauded the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to assign 375 Border Patrol agents to the country’s northern border, including the placement of 60 additional agents in Maine. That number includes eight new supervisory positions.

“Protecting our borders is a vital part of national security,” said Collins, whose committee oversees the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the new Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. “The lack of adequate resources on our northern border has been a problem for years, and one that I have been working on since before the September 11 attacks. I am pleased that Secretary Ridge and Commissioner Bonner have committed to address this glaring need.”

Prior to September 11, Sen. Collins had urged Attorney General John Ashcroft to increase Border Patrols and protection along the border between Maine and Canada. Collins pointed out at the time that Maine’s 12 land ports of entry were greatly understaffed.

In addition, Collins successfully worked last year to ensure that Congress appropriated more funds to hire Border Patrol personnel. The funding Collins helped secure made the assignment of these Border Patrol agents possible.