In the closing days of the Obama Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has shut down a critical Border aerial surveillance program.
DHS officials quietly shutdown the military aerial support program known as Operation Phalanx, Watchdog.org reported. The program was created by President Obama in 2010 to provide National Guard resources to monitor drug smuggling operations and illegal border crossings by immigrants and human smugglers.
Despite the fact that the program was fully funded for FY 2017 by Congress, the DHS began scaling back the program in January, Breitbart Texas reported. The move prompted an objection from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX). “Any decrease in aerial observation is not only imprudent, but contradicts the very mission of border security enforcement,” Abbott and Cuellar wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Governor Abbott also responded to the report by Watchdog.org with a message on Twitter. “Obama is doing everything he can to open the border,” the governor tweeted. “January 20th can’t come soon enough.” He added that his deployment of Texas National Guard members will continue.