Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the government is meeting many of the benchmarks which were set in 2007 as a prerequisite to immigration reform, according to media reports.
Speaking last Friday at the Center for American Progress, Napolitano said 600 miles of border fence have been completed to date and more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents have been hired, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
"I’ve been dealing hands-on with immigration issues since 1993, so trust me: I know a major shift when I see one, and what I have seen makes reform far more attainable this time around," she said, quoted by the news provider.
However, Terence P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com, recently quoted Lloyd Easterling, acting director of media relations for the DHS, as saying that Border Patrol is planning to decrease the number of agents on the U.S.-Mexico border by 384 in fiscal year 2010 which started on Oct 1.
In addition, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, who is the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, expressed concerns about the more than 400 miles of border with Mexico which are still open.
The AP says the 2006 immigration enforcement legislation called for 700 miles of border fences and barriers to be built, and it quotes immigration critics who say the existing fence has not been built with double layers as the law requires.