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Homeland Security chief outlines new border security efforts

[JURIST] US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff [official profile] has outlined plans to increase security along US borders by hiring more federal agents, constructing additional fences and ending policies that allow illegal immigrants to be released in the US. Chertoff announced the plans during a speech [full transcript] at a forum of business leaders on Wednesday in Houston. Chertoff warned that the US had to increase border security due to the threat of terror attacks, calling it a "legal and civic duty" of the country. The US government has been largely unable to stem illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, despite making it a priority. Under Chertoff's proposal [fact sheet], 1,500 border patrol agents would be added to the existing force of 11,000, a 14-mile wall would be constructed on the border near San Diego, and the US would end a release policy for detained illegal immigrants by adding more space at detention facilities and by expediting removal of illegal immigrants. Chertoff did not say what the proposal would cost. DHS has a news release on the announcement. USA Today has more.

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