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Bush budget scraps 9,790 border patrol agents
President uses law's escape clause to drop funding for new home
land security force
Officially approved by Bush on Dec. 17 after extensive bickering in Congress, the National Intelligence Reform Act included the requirement to add 10,000 border patrol agents in the five years beginning with 2006. Roughly 80 percent of the agents were to patrol the southern U.S. border from Texas to California, along which thousands of people cross into the United States illegally every year.
But Bush's proposed 2006 budget, revealed Monday, funds only 210 new border agents.
KEY WORDS HERE
The shrunken increase reflects the lack of money for an army of border guards and the capacity to train them, officials said.
Retired Adm. James Loy, acting head of the Department of Homeland Security until nominee Michael Chertoff takes over, said funding only 210 new agents was a "recognition that we need to balance those things as we go on down the road with other priorities."