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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Tom Riley (202) 395–6618
Thursday June 5, 2002

Drug Czar: New Homeland Security Department Will Be "Very Helpful" to Anti-Drug Efforts

(Washington, DC)—The proposed consolidation of various border control agencies into a Cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security would significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of American drug control efforts, according to John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy.

"The President's proposal will make our borders more secure and our law enforcement efforts more productive," said Walters, the nation's Drug Czar. "Organizations like the Coast Guard, the Border Patrol, and the Customs Service already work closely together in the field. This plan will enable them to coordinate their efforts more effectively, and to continue to reduce the supply of dangerous illegal drugs that are smuggled into our country."

By law, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) certifies the drug control budgets of many of the agencies involved in the proposed consolidation plan. It is expected that budget and policy processes will be streamlined and improved by the proposed reorganization.

"The links between the illegal drug trade and acts of terror have been thoroughly documented," said Walters. "Tightening the mesh at our borders will help keep us safer from terrorists, and from the violence and addiction that come from illegal drugs."

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