WASHINGTON (MNS) — Agency officials said Tuesday they were pleased with President Bush's proposed Immigration and Naturalization Service budget, which would fund more Border Patrol personnel and equipment in El Centro as well as construction money for the area's new patrol station building.
"I think on balance we're pleased with the level of support we're given from the administration and the recognition of the importance of our work," said Greg Gagne, spokesman for the INS in Washington. "All budgets are kind of a tradeoff between what you would ideally like to have and what the political realities are."
Bush's budget recommendation for fiscal 2002, which begins Oct. 1, included $75 million for 570 new Border Patrol agents, mostly for southeastern California, Arizona and Texas.
"We obviously welcome the new manpower," said Manuel Figueroa, spokesman for the El Centro Border Patrol sector.
The El Centro sector, which includes El Centro, Riverside, Calexico and Indio stations, hired 40 additional agents this year, bringing the number of agents to 504, Figueroa said.