By Carol Cratty
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Nine Border Patrol stations will be closed within the next six months to move agents closer to the southern and northern borders, according to a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP Spokesman Bill Brooks said the interior stations that will be shut are in some instances hundreds of miles from a border. He said the decision is in keeping with a strategy to use resources wisely and “increasingly concentrate our resources on the border.”
The stations that will be closed–most of which are in Texas–are:
— Abilene, Texas
— San Angelo, Texas
— Riverside, California
— Dallas Texas
— San Antonio, Texas
— Lubbock, Texas
— Amarillo, Texas
— Billings, Montana
— Twin Falls, Idaho
But the Federation for American Immigration Reform said the interior stations are a needed “second line of defense” to track down and apprehend illegal immigrants who make it past international borders and into heavily traveled corridors in the United States.
Brooks said the decision has been in the works for some time, but local officials and the media are now being notified. He said the move was not influenced by any recent news events involving immigration.
There will be a budget savings of $1.3 million a year when the nine posts are closed, according to Brooks.
Administration officials have said regular apprehensions of illegal border crossers are at their lowest levels in decades, indicating the administration’s border strategy is succeeding. That view is not echoed by some in Congress