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CBP Commissioner Says Border Is Safe, Secure

TUCSON – Homeland Security officials claim that the U.S.-Mexico border is more secure than ever. They say cross-border crime has dropped, particularly in Arizona and they credit a two year program of cooperation.

At a news conference at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Homeland Security representatives said illegal immigration through the Tucson Sector has dropped. They credit a program called the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats, an organization made up of 60 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Arizona.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin used the event to issue a challenge to illegal migrants.

"You will be at the receiving end of a consequence. No mas!" he shouted. "No more returns without consequences if you act illegally in crossing this border."

Homeland Security has needed to improve its cooperation with locals, says Matt Allen. He is the Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona.

"If we can help them, we're really helping ourselves," Allen said.

Even though it's run for two years, Bersin said the department never announced the program before because it wanted the results to speak for themselves.