President Obama said he will nominate Alan D. Bersin as commissioner for the Customs and Border Protection agency. Bersin has headed border affairs and Mexico issues since April at the Department of Homeland Security.
Appointed by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano as assistant secretary for international affairs as well as special representative for border affairs, Bersin has what has been deemed the “border czar” job that develops DHS strategy on security, trade, immigration and narcotics issues involving Mexico.
It was the second time he’s had such a job. Under the Clinton administration Bersin was both U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California and the U.S. attorney general’s Southwest border representative to coordinate law enforcement there.
Before taking the DHS job this year, he chaired the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, and before that was California secretary of education for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Napolitano said Bersin led efforts in recent months to implement President Obama’s Southwest Border Initiative, which aimed to stiffen border security and crack down on drug cartels operating from Mexico.
Upon Senate confirmation, she said he will lead more than 57,000 CPB employees “to implement practical, innovative solutions to protect our country from threats to our national and economic security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade.”
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