Obama to Create Border Czar Post

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2009 9:12 PM CDT
Men stand next to a Mexican flag that hangs along the border fence dividing Mexico and the U.S. on the beach area of Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, June 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

(Newser) – A former Justice Department official has been picked to be the Southwest border czar—a new position created by the Obama administration to handle illegal immigration and border issues. The new Homeland Security Department post will be responsible for issues related to drug-cartel violence along the US-Mexico border and the hundreds of thousands of people there who try to enter the US illegally, said an administration official.

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is expected to name Alan Bersin to the position tomorrow during a visit to the Southwest border. The Obama administration has promised to crack down on border violence and work with Mexican authorities against drug cartels. From 1993 to 1998, Bersin was the federal prosecutor who led the government's crackdown on illegal immigrants at the California-Mexico border.