U.S. and Mexico ink border deal

The United States and Mexico have hammered out a broad 22-point plan as a foundation for improving border security for both commercial and personal travel between the two countries. President Bush announced the deal during a South American tour last week. According to Wall Street Journal, technology is a key part of the security agreement, with plans for U.S. and Mexican customs agencies to share

The United States and Mexico have hammered out a broad 22-point plan as a foundation for improving border security for both commercial and personal travel between the two countries. President Bush announced the deal during a South American tour last week.

According to Wall Street Journal, technology is a key part of the security agreement, with plans for U.S. and Mexican customs agencies to share data and use "non-intrusive" inspection technology at cross-border railroad points and at high-volume ports of entry for trucking freight, such as Laredo, TX.

While the specifics have to be worked out, the U.S. is already appropriating big money for the effort. President Bush has earmarked $11 billion in the government's 2003 budget for cross-border security improvements, up from $2.2 billion in the 2002 budget. Some $380 million of that is being dedicated to the development of a high tech "Entry-Exit" border monitoring system.

The budget increase is in addition to the $5 billion President Bush has already set aside for border security improvements in his $27 billion emergency funding request sent to Congress earlier this month to fund the war in Afghanistan.

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