Photo: wikipedia commons
The U.S. border with Mexico may very well become armed with military equipment coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.That’s the hope of two Texas congressmen, Republican Ted Poe and Democrat Henry Cuellar, along with 17 border sheriffs from Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
They sent a letter to defence Secretary Leon Panetta requesting that he send surplus equipment to the border with Mexico.
Weapons and hardware from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom would go a long way.
“For years, the American people have invested their money in equipment that has been used to defend the borders of other nations; it’s time that we use this equipment to secure the United States,” said Representative Poe.
He’s also officially introduced the SEND Act (Send Equipment For National defence), a bill that would require the Secretary of defence to transfer at least 10% of military equipment returning from Iraq to federal and state law enforcement agents that patrol the border with Mexico.
Representative Poe says border security is a national security issue and that’s why he wants the defence Secretary’s involvement. Pointing out that state and local officials are on the “front lines” of the southern border fighting to protect Americans from spillover violence from Mexico, he says they need much more fire power.
“They do the best they can with what they’ve got but they are out-manned and out-gunned by the drug cartels and they are desperate for more resources.”
His colleague Representative Cueller says the U.S has to help law enforcement “beef up” their resources to meet the demands of border security.
There are already Department of defence initiatives to support public safety and homeland security units with military-grade technology and equipment. We’ve previously reported the Pentagon is offering free military hardware to police departments in the U.S and has been authorised to do so under section 1033 the National defence Authorization Act.
This new request will try make sure that only the most modern equipment gets passed along to domestic border agents in the U.S. The military hasn’t even finished its operations in Afghanistan.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.