US Eyes Unmanned Drones For Ocean Smuggler Patrol

By Dialogo
December 09, 2009

Such equipment should actually serve the purpose of monitoring the borders and hunting down traffickers. Laws related to illegal immigrants should give them the humanity and respect those people deserve. If someone leaves his birthplace to seek another home, an honest living and support, that is worthy of acceptance and respect. To the traffickers: may they bear the harshness of the laws. Well, I think every country has the right to reserve its jobs for the native-born citizens. IF the country the immigrant is going to already faces unemployment problems, and more unqualified workers enter the market place, there will be problems. However, if these people are legal, I don’t see a problem. U.S. Customs and Border Protection took delivery of its first Predator aircraft drone to scan U.S. waters for smugglers. The Predator B is expected to begin testing in early 2010 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida and be used in the Caribbean to combat drug trafficking. The plane has an enhanced radar system compared to the Predator B that has been used to combat drug smuggling and movement of illegal immigrants on land borders for four years. CBP operates three drones from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and two from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. Another Predator B for maritime use is expected at Cape Canaveral in January, said CBP spokesman Juan Munoz-Torres. The agency plans to eventually have 12 drones for land patrols and six for maritime patrols. The planes can be disassembled and flown in C-130 cargo planes to other locations but it is unlikely that the first plane will be used in San Diego, Munoz-Torres said. The Southern California seas has been the site of a surge in illegal immigrant smuggling from Mexico. The plane delivered Monday was made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles, for $13.5 million. Future deliveries are expected to cost $11 million to $12 million.
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