US Vice President Mike Pence praised on Thursday the Department of Homeland Security for thwarting roughly 2,700 attempts by terrorists or terror suspects from entering the US last year.
During a speech marking the department’s 15th Anniversary, Pence praised it as “the “cornerstone of national security and enterprise.” He highlighted its 7,000 employees’ “professionalism and dedication to mission,” including preventing terrorist attacks, securing the nation’s borders, safeguarding critical infrastructure, defending against cyber attacks.
In particular, the Vice President highlighted the work of US Customs and Border Patrol, within the Department of Homeland Security, noting illegal border crossings along the US-Mexican border have decreased by 50 percent since the start of the Trump administration, falling to a 45 year low. At the same time, attacks on US patrol agents jumped by 73 percent.
“Our border patrol still apprehends 1,100 people illegally entering our country every day. In fact every day the department interrupts the attempted entry of seven known or suspected terrorists, roughly 2,7000 per year,” Pence said.
He called President Donald Trump a “champion” for the department, touting the signing of a series of Executive Orders that provide the Department with additional resources, tools and personnel “to strengthen our counterterrorism efforts and empower DHS to implement tough new security protocols across every route a terrorist might use to enter the US including enhanced screening and vetting measures.” Trump and his administration has called on Congress to invest USD 21 billion to boost the number of border patrol agents and upgrade equipment and facilities, as well as an additional USD 18 billion for a controversial border wall along most of the country’s border with Mexico.
“Walls work and we will build that wall for the American people and our security,” Pence said. “We will keep our nation safe. We will make our nation more secure than ever before.”
Source: Kuwait News Agency