The U.S. government is prepared to increase Border Patrol and possibly military law enforcement as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plan to deal with drug-related violence spilling across the border with Mexico, the New York Times reported Jan. 8.
Michael Chertoff, secretary of DHS, said that the steady increase in violence from Mexico’s drug war led U.S. authorities to develop a plan last summer in case the violence — responsible for over 5,300 deaths in Mexico in the last year – made it to American soil.
The plan includes aircraft, armored vehicles, and teams focusing on specific hot spots along the border. Plans for military involvement are in place in case the Border Patrol is overwhelmed, although officials said such a situation is unlikely.
“We completed a contingency plan for border violence, so if we did get a significant spillover, we have a surge – if I may use that word – capability to bring in not only our own assets but even to work with [the military],” Chertoff said.