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Reno Sends 65 More Prosecutors to Bolster Border Crackdown

October 15, 1994|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Atty. Gen. Janet Reno is sending 65 more federal prosecutors to California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to crack down on illegal immigration.

"I am trying to make sure they get the resources they need to do the job, to pursue all available remedies and to do it the right way," Reno said Friday. She did not say when the prosecutors would start work.

The move is part of the Clinton Administration's three-year strategy to try to seal the 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

The plan also includes adding agents and equipment, including high-powered lights that turn night to day along the border with Tijuana and underground motion sensors, all funded in the crime bill Congress recently passed.

The moves are also intended to demonstrate the Administration's resolve in the face of criticism--and lawsuits--from governors claiming that their taxpayers are bearing the brunt of social spending on illegal immigrants.

Reno's announcement was welcome to the prosecutors flanking her at a news conference.

"We got the money to do what citizens want--to stop the illegal alien traffic coming through our borders," said U.S. Atty. James Deatley of west Texas.

Fifteen special assistant U.S. attorneys will focus on prosecuting people who smuggle illegal immigrants into the country and who make and sell phony green cards and other residency documents. Fifty other prosecutors will target illegal immigration more generally, Reno said.

The attorney general visited the border Thursday night for a firsthand view of Operation Gatekeeper, which will eventually double the number of agents along the heavily trafficked 14-mile stretch of border from the Pacific Ocean west.

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