U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials patrolling the Mexican border will soon have an extra set of eyes to keep watch over our frontiers with the launch of a new fleet of Predator drones. As Reuters reports, the first wave of unmanned aircraft will take off from Corpus Christi tomorrow, and will allow border protection agents to remotely conduct surveillance over the entire U.S.-Mexican border
. "With the deployment of the Predator in Texas, we will now be able to cover the southwest border from the El Centro sector in California all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, providing critical aerial surveillance assistance to personnel on the ground," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says. "This is yet another critical step we have taken in ensuring the safety of the border and is an important tool in our security toolbox."
The Department of Homeland Security obtained permission
to conduct unmanned border surveillance back in June, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will reportedly have six drones in rotation by year's end, thanks to a $600 million border control bill recently signed by President Obama. From a political perspective, it's completely understandable that the Obama Administration would take such drastic measures to secure our borders. Midterm elections, after all, are looming on the horizon, and few national issues are as sensitive as illegal immigration. Still, some may find the idea of militant surveillance over peacetime territory to be more terrifying than reassuring.