One of the final presidential policy directives issued by the Bush administration, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 25 (HSPD- 25) , issued on January 9 2009 declared that the "United States is an Arctic nation", with varied and critical security interests in the Arctic region.From ABC, on the Border Patrol's efforts to disrupt smuggling in Nogales:
Since taking office the Obama administration and new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Janet Napolitano have reiterated the call for deeper focus on the Arctic, citing in particular the global security implications of climate change in the region, which by melting summer sea ice is fast accelerating maritime activity and the flow of goods, oil, gas and other resources.
Last Thursday at a special "field hearing" held in Anchorage, Alaska by US Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, US Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, discussed how the Coast Guard was stepping up its Arctic Presence to address the challenges emerging in that fast changing region.
Maria Elena Leyva cannot see the problem that has recently made her hometown notorious along the US-Mexican border.Public Events
It is beneath her feet -- hidden in the earth below hills speckled with mesquites, pines, and oaks.
In the words of the county sheriff, Nogales is becoming "the drug-tunnel capital of the world."
Since 1990, the US Border Patrol has found 109 tunnels along the border with Mexico, all in California and Arizona. Sixty-five -- or 60 percent -- have been found in Nogales, with 16 of those discovered in the past nine months.
Until the 1990s, the international line here was just a chain-link fence that allowed Americans and Mexicans to look each other in the eye, Ms. Leyva recalls, sitting on a porch only two blocks from the border. But during the past few years in particular, an arsenal of manpower, physical barriers, and electronic surveillance has made the border a virtual fortress.
This has forced drug smugglers to look for alternate means of moving marijuana, heroine, and cocaine into the US. "We've increased our enforcement on the ground, so they have to compensate for it and that's why they're developing tunnels," Border Patrol spokesman Michael Scioli says.
9 AM PDT
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air & Marine Operations personnel will participate in a media availability and demonstration of the newly acquired Advanced Concept Demonstrator Vessel
Squallicum Harbor Boat Ramp
Roeder Avenue and Bellwether Way
3 PM MST
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary John P. Torres will participate in a media availability about the beginning of the 2009 Mexican Interior Repatriation Program (MIRP)
Tucson International Airport
Executive Flight Terminal