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Rep. McSally heads border security subcommittee

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 20:57:34-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -  An Arizona congresswoman is taking a strong stand to stop cartel activity in Southern Arizona. Representative Martha McSally is now the chairwoman of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee on the Committee on Homeland Security.

McSally says she hopes to use her position to change the way we address the biggest issues facing border security.

"The professional cartels, they are getting up and over through these barriers pretty quickly," said McSally.
 
As the new chairwoman of the subcommittee, she's working to develop a more efficient plan of action. 
 
"We need to be using technology and the assets that we have to include sensors, towers, airborne assets and the manpower that we have to be detecting the illegal activity well south of the border."
 
In January, the US assisted the Mexican Government in a cross-borer operation that lead to the arrest of 24 cartel members near the Lukeville port of entry. 
 
Earlier this month, she called for a full analysis of current and potential threats by the Department of Homeland security. The last complete mile-by-mile assessment conducted by DHS was back in 1993.
 
"We need to be studying those, doing a deeper analysis of the cartels, how they're operating, what kind of vehicles they're using, how they're getting their information of where our weaknesses are."
 
Another item on her agenda is building a new port of entry in Douglas. 
 
"It is so old, it's so inadequate for the economic growth that's going though there and we've been really trying hard to up that in the priorities."
 
The congresswoman says by using intelligence-driven operations we can adapt more readily to cartel threats and stop them before they happen.
 
"We need to make sure that whatever our strategy is, it's not a stagnant strategy, but, it's one that's very flexible and nimble and is using intelligence like, 'Okay, they're shifting over here now, so we need to be ready to shift over there as well."'
 
The committee is set to meet for their next hearing in the beginning of March.