For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Laredo, Texas - Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today traveled to Laredo, Texas to announce more than $47 million in fiscal year 2010 Operation Stonegarden grants for the Southwest border states. She also met with law enforcement leaders to discuss the Department’s efforts to support state, local and tribal law enforcement in protecting communities from cross-border threats and will tour U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations at the Laredo Port of Entry this afternoon.
“Over the past year and a half, this Administration has pursued a new border security strategy with an unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure while combating transnational criminal organizations that smuggle weapons, cash and people across our shared border with Mexico,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Operation Stonegarden is one part of our overall strategy to provide state, local and tribal law enforcement on the frontlines the resources they need to confront the complex and dynamic challenges that exist along our borders.”
The fiscal year 2010 Operation Stonegarden grants—totaling $60 million nationally—support 15 border states and the Territory of Puerto Rico to enhance the capabilities of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to secure U.S. borders and territories. Funds were allocated using CBP’s sector-specific border risk methodology based on threat, vulnerability, miles of border and border-specific law enforcement intelligence. Nearly 80 percent of the fiscal year 2010 funding will go to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas—up from 59 percent in 2008. Operation Stonegarden grants can be used to support law enforcement personnel, overtime, and other related costs to increase operational readiness.
While in Laredo, Secretary Napolitano also participated in a roundtable discussion with law enforcement leaders about the immigration and border-related challenges they face, and reiterated the Department’s continued commitment to supporting state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts to protect communities from cross-border threats through increased personnel, advanced technology, enhanced information-sharing, and risk-based grant funding.
Secretary Napolitano will conclude her visit with a tour of CBP operations at the Laredo Port of Entry, where she observed the new Southwest border strategies that have resulted in significant, measurable progress in this region. Apprehensions of illegal crossers were down 23 percent last year from the year before and seizures of cartel-related contraband rose significantly across the board—seizing 14 percent more illegal bulk cash, 29 percent more illegal weapons, and 15 percent more illegal drugs than the year before.
FY 2010 Operation Stonegarden Grants