Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal
After ranchers came out in force last week to voice concerns about border security, New Mexico’s political representatives in Washington say they are pushing for changes in strategy on everything from patrols to hiring, and deploying more boots on the border.
The New Mexico delegation is proposing, by turn, changes in hiring procedure that could attract more locals to Border Patrol ranks; hardship pay for agents who agree to work the remote region; more horses to get mounted agents into rugged terrain beyond the reach of pickups and ATVs; and putting more agents on the borderline, not dozens of miles inland.
One proposal would also shift more National Guard drug interdiction resources to the New Mexico border. “We think they got the message,” said Caren Cowan, executive director of the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. “I think the jury is still out on how we move forward. I think we stirred some attention, but it is way too soon to see if we will get what we need.”