Former Prosecutor Named U.S. ’Border Czar’
Alan Bersin, who served as a federal prosecutor in the Clinton administration, has been named the Obama administration’s ’border czar,’ the Associated Press reported April 15.
Bersin’s primary responsibility will be to stop the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants across the Mexican border into the U.S. Currently, Bersin is serving as assistant Homeland Security secretary for international affairs.
Bersin worked as a Justice Department special representative for the Southwest border from 1995 to 1998, and as U.S. attorney in San Diego before that.
As a U.S. attorney, he drew money and attention to border-control issues from officials in Washington. Bersin is known for leading “Operation Gatekeeper” in 1994 – a campaign to crack down on drug and human smuggling into San Diego. However, the number of illegal immigrants coming across the border remained the same, and officials found increased enforcement tended to push immigrants into the mountains and deserts, where many died from exposure and thirst.