A day before Obama makes his first trip to Mexico, the White House is planning to announce Alan Bersin, a former Justice Department official, as “border czar.” Bersin’s No. 1 priority will be controlling illegal immigration, a source tells Politico, but he’ll also tackle drug violence and immigration problems plaguing the U.S.-Mexico border. Bersin, who also served as Attorney General Janet Reno’s border czar, has been criticized by immigration advocacy groups for Operation Gatekeeper, a federal program that cracked down on uncontrolled immigration along the western portion of the border. Critics say the strategy just pushed illegal immigration to the east, where more people died in the desert while attempting to cross into the U.S.
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